Almost one firearm incident per day in January

There has been close to one firearm incident reported per day in January, yet the Government is silent on this growing issue, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Gun violence is rapidly spreading throughout the country. Most mornings, New Zealanders are opening their newspapers to read about violent events involving firearms.

There have been 17 firearms incidents in the past 23 days alone, Mr Brown says. This month there have been multiple incidents of drive-by shootings as well as a diary owner being shot in the leg. Two general arming orders have been issued by police in response.

“How many more violent firearms incidents will the Government turn a blind eye to?

“Firearm violence in New Zealand is a serious problem. Gangs shootings and police officers being shot at are becoming a regular occurrence. It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ an innocent member of the public will get caught in the crossfire.

“Rather than another gun buyback that only takes guns away from law-abiding owners, keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals should be the top priority for the Government.

“To do that it needs to adopt National’s Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) immediately to give police the tools to combat gun violence.

“National has made it clear we will not tolerate firearm violence and the devastation that comes with it. We’ve got draft legislation that will make a real difference, the Police Minister just needs to adopt it.

“The Government needs to show some leadership and equip Police with the tools they need to combat the increasing level of firearm violence before it is too late.”