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The coalition Government has today voted down legislation which would have given police new powers to make sure the most dangerous gang members with a history of serious crimes don’t have access to firearms, Hutt South MP Chris Bishop says.  

“The Arms (Firearms Prohibition Orders) Amendment Bill, would have ensured that gang members couldn’t hold a firearms licence and allowed police to carry out searches on gang members with a history of serious crimes.

Firearms Prohibition Orders were recommended by the Law and Order Select Committee in the last Parliament, the introduction of FPOs was supported by the Police in their Briefing to the Incoming Minister and they are supported by the Police Association.

“Instead the Bill was shot down at first reading by NZ First, Labour and the Greens, despite too many firearms ending up in the hands of violent, criminal gang members.

“The Bill would have ensured that no unnecessary restrictions would have been placed on other law-abiding firearms holders.

“This legislation is in place in Australian states including New South Wales where it has been proven to work.

“The vast majority of Kiwi hunters, farmers and recreational shooters do the right thing, but criminal gang members have no respect for the law, so police need expanded powers to be able to deal with them.

“National takes the safety of our communities seriously and it’s disappointing that the coalition Government hasn’t voted for my bill which would have prevented victims and given police more powers to deal with our worst criminals.”

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