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“We hope the gangs will listen” won’t get guns back

The Police Commissioner has today revealed the Government’s strategy to get illegal firearms off gang members – he hopes they listen, National’s Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.

“After an appearance at the Select Committee today, the Police Commissioner told journalists that police have spoken to influential gang leaders, he hopes they listen but he can’t compel them.

“If you want to get firearms off gang members then you need a proper plan. National has that plan with our Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs). This is an actual strategy and not just hoping that the most dangerous people in our society will suddenly start paying attention to the Police.

“As a former police officer, I can tell you that asking gangs nicely to give up illegal weapons doesn’t tend to work.

“FPOs give frontline police staff the ability to act in real time to search and recover illegal firearms in the possession of gang members. We’ve done all the work and written the Bill. Police Minister Stuart Nash should support it.

“The gun buyback scheme ends next month. Police have acknowledged that the gangs haven’t been handing in their firearms. Police Minister Stuart Nash has sent out a reminder. He needs to do more than that to get the gangs listening.”

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