Tuesday, April 23, 2024

New gang search powers for Police

The Government has today announced new measures that will enable police to further crack down on gangs through Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs). 

Associate Minister of Justice (Firearms), Nicole McKee said firearms were being illegally used by gangs to “intimidate, to commit violent crime in support of their profit making, and to initiate gang warfare that law-abiding citizens get stuck in the middle of”.

“This can’t be allowed to continue, this Government is going to take their illegally held firearms off them,” she said.

The Minister says the Firearms Prohibition Orders Legislation Amendment Bill gives effect to the Government’s 100-day commitment to give Police greater powers to search gang members for firearms. 

“The courts will be able to issue orders to any member or associate of a gang that has been convicted of a significant offence. Police will also be granted new powers to search offenders with a FPO, their vehicles, and their premises for firearms at any time.”

Associate Minister, Nicole McKee addressing new police recruits last month.

“Keeping firearms out of the hands of gang members and high-risk offenders is needed to ensure public safety.” 

The Bill also amends the FPO regime to allow people subject to an order to apply to the court after five years to have their FPO varied, modified, or revoked.

“If someone can demonstrate that they no longer pose a risk to public safety, then they should be treated as such, but if they continue with their antisocial behaviour and put others in harm then it is in the public’s interest to make sure they can’t get their hands on more illegal firearms.”

“The Government’s first job is to keep law-abiding New Zealanders safe from criminals. These changes will make New Zealand a safer place,” said Ms McKee.

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