National | Firearms

Firearms Prohibition Order Bill passes first reading

The government's commitment to tackling firearms violence reached another milestone with the Firearms Prohibition Order Bill passing its first reading unanimously in Parliament last night.

The legislation is part of the government’s response to the terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques on March 15, 2019, in which 51 worshippers were murdered and 40 injured.

Firearms Prohibition Orders will take the form of a court order prohibiting anyone convicted of and sentenced for serious offences from possessing, accessing, or using firearms for 10 years after their sentence has been completed.

Breaching an order would result in a penalty of up to seven years, as would supplying firearms to those with an imposed order.

Opposition parties have all commended the bill. National Police spokesman Mark Mitchell, a former police dog-handler, said he hoped the bill would pass swiftly, albeit with one change.

“I would ask the first thing we do is bring a warrantless search power and we give that to frontline police officers because without that this bill is meaningless,” he told Parliament.

And Act leader David Seymour said if Parliament started targeting the people who should have firearms then there was some hope of good lawmaking, laws that were respected and safer streets for New Zealanders.