“Firearms Prohibition Orders were one of the few laws Labour has enacted that is meant to reduce crime, but it hasn’t made New Zealand any safer because they don’t bother using it,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.
“Newstalk ZB report that only two Firearms Prohibition Orders have been issued since the law was introduced last November.
“Then Police Minister Chris Hipkins said at the time "Firearms prohibition orders will help to further reduce firearms violence in our communities by prohibiting high risk offenders from accessing, being around or using firearms or ammunition."
“The Firearms Prohibition Orders Legislation Act, which ACT supports, allows a judge to ban a person from having a firearm for 10 years when they are sentenced for a serious crime. Now it’s only been used twice in six months. Either there have only been two bad criminals who shouldn’t have firearms sentenced since November, or something is very wrong with this law.
“The Government needs to explain why this is. How many people have been convicted for a crime that could carry a Firearm Prohibition Order? How many times have the Police sought one? How many times have the Courts refused to issue an FPO? Without the answers to such questions, we don’t know why the law is not working, and people remain endangered.
“When this law was introduced last year New Zealand was facing a 47 per cent increase in gun crime. This was meant to fix this, everyone can see they’ve failed.
“This is symptomatic of Labour’s approach to crime. Labour’s approach to crime has been to get criminals and victims mixed up. They go after law-abiding firearms owners while making excuses for violent criminals so they can lower the imprisonment rate.
“The consequences of these priorities are playing out in New Zealand communities. Dairy owners are scared at what might happen every day, families are afraid to leave their homes, and small business owners never know what might happen.
“Police report that in the last year there have been six and half thousand more innocent people attacked, robbed and otherwise terrorised with impunity. There needs to be real change.
“No other party has released more policy to tackle crime than ACT. We would:
- Invest in more prison beds and youth justice facilities
- Restrict the use of electronic bail, while dropping the target for lower prison numbers
- Introduce Gang Injunction Orders
- Implement ankle bracelets for youth offenders
- Turn Inland Revenue on the gangs
- Introduce tools to crack down on gangs and illegal firearm use
- Electronically monitor spending for gang members on welfare
- Infringement notices for youth offenders, leading to instant, practical penalties instead of justice delayed
- Introduce Three Strikes for burglary, recognising it is a recidivist crime
- Introduce financial reparations made by the Crown, so victims don’t have to watch their attacker putting 65 cents a week in their account for 10 years
- Re-introduce Three Strikes
- Increasing police in line with the population
- Introduce a policy of no rehab, no parole
- Hold an Independent Review of the IPCA
- Make changes to the Arms Act.
“ACT will keep proposing positive solutions to ensure all New Zealanders feel safe and that we have real change.”