Release: Govt distracts from its plan to bring back dangerous guns

The Government’s proposed changes to Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPO) add almost nothing new and are merely an attempt to distract from its plans to loosen gun laws, police spokesperson Ginny Andersen and justice spokesperson Dr Duncan Webb said.

“I’m proud that Labour banned military-style semi-automatic weapons – lifting them out of our communities and off the hands of dangerous groups and people, including gang members. Community safety is why we introduced this ban, the firearms registry and FPOs,” Ginny Andersen said.

“Labour also introduced laws that allow police to get an urgent warrant for 14 days when there is obvious gang tension. It means their homes and cars can be searched at any time over that period, and is the best way to ensure that any illegal guns or other weapons can be taken off gang members immediately and make our communities safer.

“The Government’s announcement today is a smokescreen. FPO laws are already in place and working well. What the Government is really planning is to make military style semi-automatic weapons more widely available which Police have advised will only end up in the black market.

“That means more dangerous weapons in the hands of gangs,” Ginny Andersen said.

“Under the Search and Surveillance Act, Police can already conduct a warrantless search in relation to a firearms offence,” Dr Duncan Webb said.

“There are very few details around what’s come out today. I look forward to finding out how a person is identified as a gang member and the process for demonstrating that they’re no longer gang affiliated, or what ‘good behaviour’ means to get out of an FPO early. We will examine this in detail once there is more detail.

“This is political posturing at its finest and doesn’t go any way towards solving the issues around crime and gangs that National campaigned so hard on solving,” Dr Duncan Webb said.

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