“Labour has tried coddling the gangs, they’ve tried giving them money, and they’ve tried pretending the issues don’t exist, now the problem of gang crime has gotten out of control and they’ve been forced to pinch ACT’s ideas,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“Getting tougher on shootings is long overdue. Earlier today ACT revealed data obtained via written parliamentary questions that showed firearms offences committed by gang members on the National Gang List increased by 26.3 per cent from 2018 to 2020. Labour has overseen an explosion in gang-related gun crime.

“ACT proposed going after gang’s assets two years ago and the Government ignored us. I had a Member’s Bill before Parliament in May 2022 and they voted that down as well.

“Under our proposal, if an illegal firearm is found in the possession of a known gang member at a property where an illegal operation is taking place, authorities will not be required to meet the current tests. The discovery of an illegal firearm can be used to fast-track the seizure of assets. This law change could already be in motion, if Labour had come to their senses earlier.

“Labour’s soft on crime approach over the past few years has seen gangs become emboldened and more violent gun crime on our streets. It’s a shame that things have had to get this bad before they’ve finally taken some action.

“I hope this new focus on gangs means Labour will now stop targeting law-abiding firearms owners, and that they will scrap their plans to create a firearms register that gang members will see as a shopping list for firearms they can steal.“

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Nicole McKee