Violent crims require a tougher response

After years of calling for Firearm Prohibition Orders against violent gang members to be implemented, the Government is finally listening, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“We still have questions regarding the Government’s proposal, such as whether its policy will include additional search powers against those who have a Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs) as recommended by the Police Association.

“National is also concerned FPOs will only be put in place by the Courts, after someone has committed a serious offence, rather than put in place in advance as proposed in our policy. This is putting the public at risk, we should be trying to avoid serious offending, not applying the FPOs afterwards.

“The Government was first recommended to introduce FPOs back in 2017. Since then Labour has sat on its hands in Government and overseen a 48 per cent increase in gang membership and gang violence.

“Whilst it’s a change of heart for the Government who has twice voted against National’s legislation to introduce FPOs in Parliament, it’s failure to act quickly has meant gangs have become more entrenched, and more emboldened.

“If the Government was truly serious about cracking down on illegal ownership of guns, it would’ve made changes to National’s FPO legislation that’s currently in Select Committee, speeding up the process, rather than throwing it out just to introduce its own legislation.

“Had Labour worked with the National Party when we first called for FPOs, we could’ve had them in place by now.”