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Firearms Bill to target gangs

National is today putting a Members Bill back into the Ballot that would introduce Firearms Prohibition Orders, and ensure our communities are safer from dangerous gang members, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says.

“The Arms (Firearms Prohibition Orders) Amendment Bill will ensure gang members cannot hold a firearms licence and will allow Police to carry out searches on gang members who have a history of serious crimes.

“Gang members have made it very clear that they will not be participating in the firearm buyback scheme, so it’s important Police have the power to take their guns from them and ensure a safe society.

“The Labour-led Government is refusing to take action against gangs and is instead hitting law-abiding firearms owners with more costs and regulations. Criminal gang members have no respect for the law, so police need expanded powers to be able to deal with them.

“My colleague Chris Bishop previously tried to shepherd the Bill through Parliament, but it was voted down at first reading by NZ First, Labour and the Greens.

“The Government has also announced a Select Committee process half the usual length of time for its own Bill. When these reforms affect over 250,000 firearm owners this simply isn’t good enough.

“We are already seeing the problems of a rushed process. Many feel like they were not treated fairly or reasonably and that’s why only a fraction of the firearms have been returned so far.

“Many firearms owners are taken aback by the pace and scope of the Government’s reforms. By taking the time to engage with stakeholders we can ensure a more meaningful set of reforms.

“It is important that we ensure the focus of these reforms is placed firmly on ensuring a safer society by being tough on gang members, not by punishing lawful firearms owners.”

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