Wellington, May 11 | The New Zealand government will make it illegal for high-risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crimes.
“It is no secret that gun crime is an increasing concern to our communities and we need to take further action to make sure New Zealanders and their families are kept safe,” Police Minister Poto Williams said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It is a privilege, not a right, to own or use a gun in this country and we need to take that ability out of the hands of people who pose a threat to our communities,” Xinhua news agency quoted Williams as further saying.
FPOs will protect the public from harm by prohibiting high-risk people from accessing, being around, or using firearms. Breaching the conditions of a FPO will be a criminal offence, she said.
Currently, 700 officers will be focused on organised crime, Williams said.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act will be amended to introduce a new power enabling seizure of assets of those associated with organised crime, where the person’s known legitimate income is likely to have been insufficient to acquire the asset, the Police Minister said.
Both the FPO Bill, and the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Amendment Bill will be introduced into the House before the end of the year, and the public will have an opportunity to comment on the bills, she added.