Police need new powers to combat gang violence

The Government should move quickly to introduce Firearm Prohibition Orders to help Police quell incidents of gang warfare like the one unfolding in Christchurch, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

The law change would allow Police to issue violent gang members with special orders preventing them from holding a firearm licence or being in the presence of a firearm.

Police recommended to the Minister in 2017 that the law be changed to make Firearm Prohibition Orders legal, but the Labour Government has not made any progress on this.

Mr Brown has drafted a Member’s Bill that would introduce Firearm Protection Orders and give Police a crucial tool they need in the fight against gang violence.

“The recent double shooting in Christchurch involving gang members is yet another sad example of firearm violence in New Zealand, which should not be tolerated,” Mr Brown says.

“Gangs are continuing to live up to their violent reputation. Their use of guns in public has become far too common.

“We cannot wait until an innocent member of the public gets caught in the crossfire. The Government needs to address the increasing use of firearms by gangs immediately.

“The Government should support my proposed law change. It is urgently needed to help make our community safer.”