Letter Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of New Zealand

Hi James,
I would like to clarify a few things that J.G. from Auckland stated. Magazine capacity is limited for those with “A” category licensing only. Those with “E:” category license can have center fire or rim fire magazines for the “E” category weapons (military style semi automatic) that are unlimited in capacity. Pistol ownership merely requires that you join a pistol club, install an adequate safe in your home for pistol storage, obtain a “B” category license and attend 12 club shoots per year which is not much if you intend to shoot competently. 

Our country has troops currently in Afghanistan and in the past sent combat engineers to Iraq.

J.G. correctly points out that we in New Zealand are uniquely blessed with a land that has more food units than people and is still largely agrarian. – B.W.  from the Bay of Plenty.

JWR Replies: Things are quite a bit different here in the U.S. Of course the State laws vary widely. We don’t have a unified “Country Code” like the Commonwealth countries. Outwardly, out patchwork of laws looks a bit chaotic, but it has its advantages.  One of the most notable of these is that if a state gets too intrusive we can “vote with our feet” and just move to a different state. (Witness the current out-migration of conservatives from California to States like Idaho, Montana, and Nevada.)

Re:  “Pistol ownership merely requires that you …”   Your description seems like a lot of “flame filled hoops” to me. In many states (such as the aforementioned Idaho, Montana, and Nevada), if an adult wants to buy a pistol from another citizen that lives in the same state, he just opens his wallet and buys it, with no government intervention whatsoever.(No registration, no competency tests, no licensing, no storage requirements. Nothing!)  Needless to say, gun shows here are a lot of fun!  Our newspaper classified ads have lots of private party gun ads.

There are far more paperwork requirements when one buys guns across state lines, or any transaction involving a Federally licensed dealer.  But thankfully, private party gun sales are the last bastion of privacy here in the States. We like it that way.