Information from the Ministry of Justice this week shows that one offender has been convicted of the illegal possession of a firearm on no less than NINE separate occasions.
Three more offenders boast eight separate convictions for the same. Three more offenders boast seven and three more offenders boast six to complete the top ten. Remember that these are CONVICTIONS and not arrests. So the real numbers are even worse.
Police also state that of more than 3900 patched gang members and prospects, nine per cent had been charged with five or more firearms offences.
New Zealand’s worst firearm offender has 46 separate firearm convictions.
So why are these repeat offenders so contemptuous of the law?
We now know that for every one hundred burglaries where a gun is stolen – only eight offenders will ever face a judge. Perhaps because Police don’t even attend 12% of these robberies, when they DO it is days later. Or by PHONE.
We know that the penalties for firearm offending are pathetic. One offender found with an AK47 and other cut down murder tools received only a community sentence.
We know that the mass majority of those offenders who are found in possession of illegal arms will avoid a prison sentence of any kind. With some only paying a fine that is a fraction of the worth of the gun that they had stolen.
We know that many offenders have many previous firearm offences. That they have committed serious armed offending – while serving non-custodial sentences for their last gun crimes. We know that guns were left loaded in their homes with young children.
We know that less than ten percent of those FOUND GUILTY AND CONVICTED of a gun crime will ever serve a second’s punishment for that offence, because of concurrent sentencing.
Or we will even REWARD a gun offender, with a discount on their drug sentence for getting “Some guns off the street”; the ones that they stole and put there.
We know that Cahill’s Police Union has confirmed that they never push for harsher penalties because their Labour party friends won’t support it. So they seek to punish lawful shooters with mindless new restrictions. This is despite literally only one in one hundred gun crimes being committed by firearm license holders.
We also know that the violent Australian gun gangs are moving in to claim new drug territories. They must think they have found heaven.
So far our nation’s gun crime is low and is consistently so. But we can eradicate the dangers we do face by recognizing that recidivism is the issue, then acting to change criminal attitudes with appropriate penalties.