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Stiffer Sentences For Fireams Offences

Media Release
20 March 2000


New Zealand First Law and Order spokesman, Ron Mark, has called for stiffer sentences, including mandatory jail terms for firearms offences.

This follows a case in the High Court in Wellington in which a man was reportedly fined $600 and given three months periodic detention for unlawfully possessing two rifles. One of which was a cut down point 22 which the police had reason to believe had been used in an armed robbery.

Parts of the cut down point 22 rifle were also reported to have been found on the man’s property.

“This light sentence sends the wrong message to criminals and people who commit firearms offences,” said Mr Mark.

At the last election a referendum was conducted to ascertain the publics view of sentences and punishments given to offenders. “I believe that this pathetic sentence is a prime example of what was in their minds and once again highlights just how out of touch our Courts and Judges have become from the public.

“I also fail to understand how a Judge could accept such a nonsense defense from an offender as not knowing how the guns came into his possession. To believe this is to believe in the Tooth Fairy.

“New Zealanders are sick and tired of courts handing out pathetically light sentences and of soft politicians who let this happen. People who possess firearms illegally should be imprisoned full stop. Then, they should be charged for the offences they have committed with those weapons. This would give a clear message to everyone,” stated Mr Mark.


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