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National will work with Police Minister Stuart Nash and the Government to ensure our Firearm Prohibition Orders are included in the new gun laws, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“It’s great Stuart Nash is finally going to take National’s Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) to Cabinet, despite initially rejecting a request from National to include this in our new gun laws.

“National campaigned on introducing FPOs in 2017, and we had a Bill before Parliament last year that the Government voted down. We’ve also included FPOs in our proposed 13 changes to the Government’s gun law reforms, but again it wasn’t picked up.

“It’s great Stuart Nash has changed his mind, and we have a Bill ready to go which I will move to introduce to Parliament on Tuesday. All the Government needs to do is support it.

“FPOs give Police more powers to search and take firearms off gang members. They apply to the most dangerous gang offenders who have convictions for firearms offences or serious violence.

“When Police have reason to believe an FPO has been breached or an offence has occurred, they will be able to search the gang member, their vehicles or premises to look for illegal firearms.

“Right now gang membership is growing rapidly, there has been a 26 per cent increase in patched and prospect gang members since this Government took office.

“Gangs have publicly said they won’t hand in their illegal firearms, showing why National’s FPOs are needed. We’re reaching out to the Government to ensure they are passed.

“National will work with the Government to ensure our FPOs become law. Gangs do nothing but peddle misery and create more victims. This is just one way we can crack down on gangs, and ensure New Zealanders’ safety.”

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