Gun retail will change after the Christchurch shooting

  • Opinion
  • March 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gun retail will change after the Christchurch shooting

Each time I’ve travelled to a centre of world commerce like New York or Frankfurt, it’s crossed my mind that I may be caught up in a terrorist attack, but as soon as I walked through the tomokanga archway at Auckland Airport, I ceased to question whether I was safe. With the shooting on March 15, that certainty of safety ended.

As of today, 50 members of New Zealand’s Muslim community have lost their lives in a horrifying terrorist attack carried out while they were at prayer. Many of the victims were Kiwi citizens and permanent residents, as well as visitors from other countries, but in particular, I can’t stop thinking about the crushing unfairness of refugees who fled conflict to make their home in New Zealand, only to be confronted with lethal violence in a place of worship. They should all have been safe here.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern indicated in no uncertain terms that New Zealand’s gun laws can’t remain as they are:

“While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun licence, and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now. Our gun laws will change. 

“There have been attempts to change our laws in 2005, 2012 and after an inquiry in 2017.  

Now is the time for change.”

‘Panic buying’ of weapons used in mass shootings is an established phenomenon in the US, and recent news reports indicate that New Zealand has seen its own run of sales on semi-automatic weapons, ammunition and magazines. Gun retailers are being called upon to voluntarily restrict sales of military-style semi-automatic weapons – this morning, Trade Me showed leadership by becoming the first to do so.

“Our view is that trading between licensed owners via Trade Me in a safe, trusted, transparent and traceable environment is better for New Zealand than many of the alternatives,” Trade Me said in a statement.

“But it is clear public sentiment has changed in relation to semi-automatic weapons and we acknowledge that, which is why we’re putting this ban in place. There is a bit of work involved in doing this but we will have these listings removed later today.”

Like many rural families, mine has participated in hunting pest species such as possums and deer for generations, and responsible gun use is a part of our lives.

However, I don’t believe there’s any need for private citizens to own military-style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand. In my opinion, the only legitimate applications for a privately-owned gun in New Zealand are to hunt pest species for food or population control, and for farmers to perform euthanasia on terminally sick or injured stock. 

Semi-automatic weapons have legitimate applications for game hunters, but military-style semi-automatics are a different story. They are not a go-to weapon for day-to-day hunting. The're essentially overpowered toys, and are packed with features that are relevant not to the kind of hunting commonly practised in New Zealand but to war. 

I think it’s important to remember as we discuss gun ownership that New Zealand has no second amendment entrenching our right to bear arms – here, gun ownership is a privilege that’s always trumped by the community’s right to safety. Even in the US, the right to bear arms doesn’t mean any and all weaponry.

You’ve heard my opinion, but until the Government makes its promised move on gun laws, the decision to pull military-style semi-automatic weapons from the shelves now is up to gun retailers. 

I'm not asking gun retailers to do anything they don't want to do, and if there's sound reasons to keep military-style semi-automatics in circulation that I haven't considered, I'm interested in hearing them. But I'd like these retailers to consider asking their immediate communities about their preferences. Keep their eyes and ears open, and be brave enough to have tough conversations with staff and customers about the issue.

To hunt responsibly with a gun is to constantly think about gun safety. Safe hunters are aware at all times whether their gun is loaded, if it’s got the safety catch on, where the barrel is pointing, and the position of other members of their hunting party. Responsible gun owners are self-aware and understand risk management. To get through the next few weeks without a storm of public backlash, responsible gun retailers will need to do the same.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Michael Hill International posts $17m profit

  • News
  • August 22, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Michael Hill International posts $17m profit

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International has reported a lift in profit but is feeling the pinch of lower sales and squeezed margins.

Read more

Dylan Mulder explores new digital frontiers in the fashion world

  • Design
  • August 22, 2019
  • Findlay Buchanan
Dylan Mulder explores new digital frontiers in the fashion world

“What might a Louis Vuitton or Off-White digital piece of clothing be like?” Matthew Drinkwater, head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, mused to Vogue in April earlier this year. The question came in the wake of Carlings, a multi brand Scandinavian retailer, selling out its first digital-only clothing line. The process saw fashion designers manipulate photos of customers, so it appeared as though they were dressed up in Carlings' apparel. Customers would then go on to share the photos of themselves on digital platforms, Instagram, Facebook, and the rest, without actually having to wear the clothes.

Read more

Gem Retail Hotlist: Be Free Grocer flourishes in Palmerston North

  • News
  • August 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gem Retail Hotlist: Be Free Grocer flourishes in Palmerston North

Retail isn’t an obvious next step for a couple who met during five years’ volunteering at a Malaysian wildlife sanctuary, but Bronwyn Green and David Phillips’ passion for animals has led them to tackle waste management from the shopfloor. Green shared insights about their plastic-free grocery store Be Free Grocer with The Register.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

The bridal industry changes driving Karen Walker’s new Atelier range

  • Design
  • August 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
The bridal industry changes driving Karen Walker’s new Atelier range

In the last couple of years, Kiwi fashion designers like Ingrid Starnes, Juliette Hogan and Paris Georgia have rolled out bridal ranges. Now they’ve been joined by Karen Walker. We asked Walker what’s behind the rise of designer bridal.

Read more

Are you on The Retail Hotlist 2019?

Join us in celebrating the vitality and innovation of New Zealand’s retail sector by voting for The Retail Hotlist. The NZ Retail team and Gem, ...


Shop with The Register: Dress up for New Zealand Fashion Week

  • News
  • August 19, 2019
  • The Register
Shop with The Register: Dress up for New Zealand Fashion Week

Retailers are busy, and busy people don’t have time to be constantly catwalk-ready. But if you’d like to shine a little brighter while checking out the new season apparel at New Zealand Fashion Week, here’s some great ideas for professional women.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit