Gun owners 'living in fear' over buyback

Status Guns owner Nelson Collie (left) and Custom Guns owner Greg Hudson, both of Invercargill,...
Status Guns owner Nelson Collie (left) and Custom Guns owner Greg Hudson, both of Invercargill, have received daily queries from gun owners who are unsure if their firearms comply with the Government’s new legislation. PHOTO: ABBEY PALMER
The Government's new firearms ban has raised uncertainty over what impact it will have on Southland's gun business.

A local gun retailer said some gun owners were "living in fear" over what the proposed gun buyback scheme would mean for them as they awaited confirmation of its details.

Custom Guns owner Greg Hudson, who has run his gun retail store in Invercargill for four years, said he was "fielding many questions everyday" from customers who were unsure if their firearms would comply with the new legislation.

"There's a lot of confusion ... There's also a lot of uncertainty around whether or not people are going to be able to modify their firearms and make them compliant.

Mr Hudson said customers had been reluctant to spend any money because the uncertainty but he was not worried about his future.

"The majority of my business will change from servicing firearms which are [now] prohibited to selling those which are legal, so I don't see any adverse effects in the long term.

"Potentially, if firearms are allowed to be modified [to meet new legal requirements], it would be a substantial increase in business."

Status Guns owner Nelson Collie, who manufactures and modifies firearms in Invercargill, said the most pressing issue was that nobody knew what was going to happen.

"Daily, I get many queries and I assume all gun shops are. People are asking `what am I going to do, what do I have to do?' and I have to say to them, `I know as much as you do'. There's no finite, bottom line to anything.

"There's a lot of hearsay but I haven't seen it in writing on a government letterhead yet and until it is there, nothing is really set in concrete."

H&J Smith Outdoor World Gun City owner John Green said he had also received some queries but could not answer them, given the details of the gun buyback scheme were yet to be confirmed.

He said 99% of the company's customers would be unaffected.

"I think the new regulations may frustrate some people using those guns [military style semi-automatic], sort of as amateurs, but I would suggest the people working in that area [of pest control] professionally will arrive at a suitable solution."

Federated Farmers rural security spokesman Miles Anderson said many farmers would be concerned their firearms could be rendered illegal.

"We're waiting on proper identification of the firearms that are banned. What is permissible and what isn't - that's going to take a lot of good communication."


rush job with new rules......... it was said it would be a muck up and here we are/

My heart bleeds for them.

Oh the poor frightened little gun owners. What cowards!
And how selfish. You don't need a semi-automatic, you need to learn how to shoot properly.

'Living in fear'--they are not the only ones. People at the barrel end of a semi-autonatic gun no doubt might well be worried they wiil die in fear.