New Zealand’s lax gun control laws are under scrutiny again after police revealed that the male person who died yesterday in a hunting incident was an 11 year old boy. The child died as a weapon was being unloaded at the end of a hunt. Hunting permits for the forest are issued by First Security, but a spokeswoman for the company refused to comment on whether the group had a permit to be on the land.
The deceased child has been named as Connor Brian Phillips, a student at Reporoa primary school. Our thoughts and condolences are extended to his family and friends for their loss.
Reporoa has a pig hunting club, but it is not known if Connor’s shooting party had a connection with it. However, photos from the club’s Facebook page clearly show hunting is very much a family activity in New Zealand.:
Primary school aged children in NZ are no strangers to hunting, with many schools encouraging students to participate in hunting related activities, often to the repugnance of tourists and visitors from developed countries where blood sports are considered inhumane.
New Zealand’s primary school Facebook pages and events often display sponsorship from gun shops.
The images below are from Facebook: Hororata Primary School’s annual pig and possum hunt, 2014:
Lax gun control laws
Under present legislation, firearms do not have to be registered in New Zealand, police have no idea how many are in circulation and how many registered owners posses multiple weapons. A conservatives estimate puts the figure at 1.1 million.
One only has to search on the auction site trademe.co.nz to see how popular firearms are. These are the numbers and types of items for sale in the North Island:
The only other country to have a similar licensing system to NZ is the US.
10 Year Old Alex Fisher
In other news, police are still not many releasing details about the death of 10 year old Alex Fisher, but they do say a burglary at Waitarere Beach could be of interest to their inquiry.
Alex had been missing for three days when his body was found with a head wound at a windswept lonely spot in sand dunes at Waitarere Beach, near Levin.
A man has been arrested and charged with carrying a knife.
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