Firearms prohibition orders added to penalties for serious crimes

By Te Ao - Māori News

Firearms Prohibition Orders are being introduced by the government to make it illegal for people who have committed serious crimes to own firearms.

Police Minister Poto Williams announced the move today to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime. Her bill will allow judges to make the orders if people are convicted of serious violence, firearms offences, participating in organised crime and terrorism.

She said the orders will protect the public from harm by prohibiting high-risk people from accessing, being around, or using firearms.

Wiliams briefly listed who this would be for, saying "People who commit serious offences, under Section 86A of the Sentencing Act. People who qualify under the Terrorism Act.

"It's a much broader group of people that will be captured but the most serious of offenders," she says.

Widen the Proceeds of Crime Act

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Kris Faafoi aims to widen the Proceeds of Crime Act so police may confiscate property if they believe it was not bought from legitimate income. Faafoi says this may even include clothing and shoes, which gang leaders give to recruits.

"I think take away an option for recruitment for gangs, because it's away they are recruiting young members to gangs,"  Faafoi says.

"If police can go to court and argue the case that someone who is associated with a gang could not have legitimately acquired the property or an asset, then theonus on those to legitimately prove that they acquire those assets."