Govt must take action against firearm violence

Labour’s soft on crime attitude is putting the safety of New Zealanders and our police officers at risk, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Gun violence is rapidly spreading throughout the country, just today there was a shooting in Otara and reports of more firearms incidents are ever increasing. We need to make sure the police have the tools they need to keep the public safe.

“National’s Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) would give police greater powers to take firearms of violent criminals. This is a sensible piece of legislation that would go some way to keeping the public safe, but the Government continues to refuse to support it.

“The shooting of Constable Matthew Hunt earlier this year demonstrates the dangers police are facing with criminals who possess deadly firearms, and just today there was a shooting in Otara.

“It’s got so bad that according to Police Association President Chris Cahill, front-line officers now feel compelled to wear anti-ballistic plate armour because they encounter firearms on a daily basis.

“Last year then Police Minister Stuart Nash said he would take National’s FPOs to Cabinet. It’s been a year, how much longer will it take Cabinet to consider whether keeping New Zealanders and our police safe is a priority?

“The Government cannot afford to sit on its hands and waste any more time, gun violence is at its highest levels in nearly a decade, we need action now before more people are victims of firearms offences.

“National will always back our police and make sure they have the tools they need to keep New Zealanders safe, why won’t Labour?”