National | Christchurch

New group calls for total ban on semi-automatic weapons

New advocacy group is pushing for a total ban on semi-automatic weapons.

A new advocacy group has been launched today in a bid to bring stronger gun laws into New Zealand, following the Christchurch shootings on March 15.

The volunteer organisation Gun Control NZ is working towards tightening controls around gun ownership and banning semi-automatic weapons, following the mosque attacks which killed 51 people.

Parliament recently banned most semi-automatic weapons, but Gun Control NZ co-founder Nik Green says there's still a risk that guns could fall into the wrong hands.

"Gun ownership imposes risks on all of us and our current laws still have many loopholes. Gun Control NZ wants effective gun laws that keep the entire community safe."

The organisation will also campaign for a mandatory gun register and a shortened registration period for gun owners of three years.

Co-founder Philippa Yasbek says the group still supports hunting and other shooting sports.

"Hunting and other shooting sports have a long history in New Zealand. We support properly vetted people being able to own registered rifles and shotguns, so long as those guns are not semi-automatic,” she says.