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Tougher Sentencing On Firearms - Mark

1 March 2006

Tougher Sentencing On Firearms - Mark

New Zealand First law and order spokesman Ron Mark today called for tougher sentencing in cases involving on firearms charges, following the conviction of a man who discharged a gun in a public. The offender admitted to being in possession of a stolen submachine gun, from which he fired 57 rounds while drunk.

“The fact that he was in receipt of a stolen submachine gun is bad enough. That alone warrants a serious sentence. That he fired it so recklessly in public is downright dangerous and I am appalled that he received only a token four months on a total of seven firearms charges,’ said Mr Mark.

“Instead of calling for stricter licensing laws that will impact on legitimate firearms owners who respect the law and use firearms in a responsible manner, we should be cracking down on those who flaunt existing laws and handing out longer sentences.

“There is a strongly held view among legitimate firearms owners that people who illegally obtain firearms who are not themselves police-approved holders of a firearms licence, and who then go on to commission a crime with that firearm, should receive a minimum term of five years.

“If needs be, perhaps we should to look at the possibility of removing judges’ discretion and imposing mandatory sentences,” concluded Mr Mark.

ENDS

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