“While the Prime Minister is cosying up to left-wing talk show hosts and delivering speeches at elite universities about gun laws, Aucklanders are living in fear over gang shootings”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Jacinda Ardern is trotting the world stage lecturing people about how good our gun laws are, but violent gun crime is at record levels.
“Ardern told Stephen Colbert: ‘And so we got rid of them…So we had a buy back scheme. People who had legitimately and legally gone out and purchased these weapons and we changed the laws, so in fairness we said we will buy them back and we will destroy them. That is what we did.’
“How out of touch can you get? Aucklanders will be gobsmacked.
“Only ACT opposed the Government’s rushed gun laws. Sadly, we’ve been proven right. The legislation went after law-abiding New Zealanders and the gangs didn’t bother handing their guns back.
“The Government is also proposing to repeal the Three Strikes legislation in the middle of a crimewave. What message does that send to violent criminals? Crime is out of control and Labour is going soft on the worst offenders. This Government is so disconnected from reality.
“The gang-fuelled wave of gun crime in Auckland shows the Government’s gun legislation and buyback has failed. It hasn’t made a difference to the number of illegal firearms in circulation. Law-abiding members of the firearms community have handed back their guns, but violent gang members were never going to.
“We’ve seen a clear escalation in behaviour from the gangs, with regular shootings using illegal firearms. The current approach hasn’t worked.
“Neither the Government’s gun legislation, nor the buyback, has made a difference to the number of illegal firearms in circulation.
“Locking people up gets them off the street, but the gangs don’t care if young prospects are sent to jail and just carry on operating in our communities.
“We need to get smarter. ACT would hit the gangs where they hurt.
“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.
“Gangs will either need to shut up shop, disarm, or have their assets seized.”