Government shoots down gang firearms proposal

Labour, NZ First and the Greens voted against the proposed amendment. Photo credit: Getty

A Member's Bill that would have given police more powers over gangs with firearms is dead in the water.

Labour, NZ First and the Greens voted against the proposed amendment overnight.

National's police spokesman Chris Bishop, who put forward the Bill, says it would have been effective.

"It gives the police commissioner some greater tools to deal with our most high-risk gang members."

The Hutt South MP says the Bill has the backing from the law and order sector.

"This legislation is in place in Australian states including New South Wales where it has been proven to work.

"The vast majority of Kiwi hunters, farmers and recreational shooters do the right thing, but criminal gang members have no respect for the law, so police need expanded powers to be able to deal with them."

Police Minister Stuart Nash in May said while he agreed with the principle of the Bill, it didn't fit the Government's "overall organised crime strategy that we're in the process of developing, and a legislative agenda that we're developing around this".

"It sounds like a fantastic idea and it's something we're working to achieve but it's a little simplistic because you've got to have a strategy on how you deal with gangs generally."


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