RNZ wrote:Harsher gun laws considered to tackle gang violence
Police Minister Judith Collins said she would consider measures - including firearm prohibition orders - later this week to combat gangs.
In 2014, police and justice ministry staff were asked to advise the Cabinet on options to prevent high-risk gang offenders from possessing or obtaining guns.
In New South Wales, police are able to stop and search a person issued with an order - and can search their houses and vehicles without a warrant.
Officials briefed the then-Police and Justice Ministers in April last year about options for this country, with one option being to follow the Australian laws.
They said there were a number of people who posed a "significant risk of committing violent offences with firearms" and evidence suggested firearms offending was a particular problem "for, though not limited to, members of gangs".
Another expert on gangs, University of Canterbury lecturer and researcher Jarrod Gilbert, also questioned the accuracy of the figures.
Dr Gilbert said while it was important to keep guns away from criminals, he suspected the gang data was off the mark.
"The basis of these laws are that 44 percent of current gang members have firearms offences - now that intuitively seems very high to me.
"And I've got reason to question those figures of course, because the last time the government used gang data I proved that they were wildly, wildly inaccurate", Mr Gilbert said. He also said gangs were firing far fewer bullets than they were in the '80s.
"This will be heralded as gang legislation, as so many laws have been in the past, but then we'll find that gangs won't be mentioned in any of the drafting of the laws so of course they'll be able to use [them] against anybody.
"If they're like any other gang laws that have been produced in this country, they will be used against people not in gangs far more commonly than they are against gang members."
Mr Gilbert said, while there was good intent behind the considerations, the government needed to ensure it backed policy with sound data.
What d'you think? I'm not pro-gun or anything, but I'm also not anti-gun necessarily either. Seems to me we already have a firearms license system, gun violence is down, seems okay to me. What else would you do? Registering all firearms seems like the only improvement I can think of.
Meanwhile, this policy idea seems a bit like another step towards a police state, or am I overreacting.