Tuesday, June 18, 2024

New gun law takes aim at high risk offenders

The Government’s Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill has been introduced into Parliament today.

Minister of Police, Poto Williams says the Bill adds a further layer of protection for the public by prohibiting high risk offenders from accessing, being around, or using firearms and ammunition magazines.

Breaching the conditions of FPOs would be a criminal offence, the Minister said.

“This Government is committed to addressing firearms violence and its impact on our communities.”

“Gangs and other violent criminals cannot continue to threaten, intimidate, and exploit our communities. Firearms Prohibition Orders provide an additional tool for Police to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, and to keep our communities safe,” she said.

The move is one of the many changes made by Police following the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCOI) into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain, which identified the need to improve administration of the Arms Act.

These changes include a dedicated firearms unit established within Police to take over firearms regulatory activities, as well a firearms registry to be set up from June 2023 so Police know the legally held firearms stock and are better able to trace firearms.

“FPOs will be a court order that prohibits anyone convicted and sentenced of serious criminal offences from possessing, accessing or using firearms for ten years after their sentence has been completed.”

The orders will in no way impede fit and proper firearms licence holders from continuing to lawfully own and use firearms,” Minister Williams said.

The Bill will continue through the normal select committee process in the New Year before it is passed into law.

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