Gang differences over handing in semi-automatic weapons

There was some silly public defiance of the change of firearm regulations requiring high powered semi-automatic firearms to be handed in.

Like Gang bosses say weapons won’t be handed back after Christchurch mosque shooting

Ask yourself – Sonny Fatu says – how many mass shootings in New Zealand have been committed by gang members? None, he says.

“And how many have been committed by someone of Pākehā origin? Many if we include the terror raids of marae when colonialists stole land and killed women and children, but in more recent times we have Aramoana and now this – the murder of 50 innocent people.”

Fatu is president of the Waikato branch of the Mongrel Mob.

In the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks, the Mongrel Mob was criticised for having used sieg heil slogans and swastikas. The Waikato chapter stopped the practice four years ago.

The gang was also criticised for offering to provide security around mosques at services marking the death of 50 Muslims in the Christchurch terror attack. This was a crude PR ploy and gang members would turn in their own guns if they were genuine, one commentator suggested.

But Fatu accuses Pākehā commentators of diverting attention away from the Christchurch mosque killer. The real issue, he says, is racism.

“Our brown brothers and sisters shouldn’t have to fix this for them – they, we, have endured enough.”

“Will gangs get rid of their weapons? No,” Fatu says. “Because of who we are, we can’t guarantee our own safety.”

A report by the Law and Order Select Committee in April 2017 described unlawful firearms possession is an integral aspect of New Zealand’s gang culture. A 2014 police analysis showed 44 per cent of gang members had been charged with firearms offences.

But there has been a response to this, by politicians and by other gang members.

Newshub:  ‘You will hand them back’: Winston Peters’ warning to gangs over gun law reform

Winston Peters…

…has issued a warning to gang members who say they won’t be handing over their guns despite the Government’s crackdown.

The Deputy Prime Minister said on Monday that official legislation had been agreed upon by Cabinet to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles, among other gun law reforms.

When asked how the Government would respond to gang members who refuse to hand over their weapons, Peters said the message will be clear: “You will be handing them back to the Government or some lawful authority.

“We don’t plan to fail on this… the process will apply to them, the same for any law abiding citizen in this country who has an armament that is legal but is about to be made illegal.”

“We intend to enforce the law and it’s not a matter of cooperation – it’s a matter of being obliged to conform with the law of this country or be operating illegally for which there will be consequences,” Peters said.

Police Minister Stuart Nash…

…who joined Peters at his post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, said the penalties for carrying illegal firearms have increased “substantially”.

Under the legislation, unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm in a public place would result in seven years imprisonment, and using a prohibited firearm to resist arrest would carry a penalty of 10 years in prison.

“I found it abhorrent that you could have gang members in the media publicly saying that they were going to break the law. We take that very, very seriously,” Nash said.

People who illegally posses firearms tend to try to keep them hidden, so it may be difficult to remove all military style or semi-automatic weapons that are now illegal, but the new regulations and pending law changes will make it easier to seize any that are found.

RNZ:  National’s Judith Collins wants tougher action on gangs with guns

National Party MP Judith Collins…

…is urging the government to crack down on gangs with illegal firearms by giving the police greater powers to raid gang homes.

“We also saw people like gang members coming out and saying they were with the Muslim New Zealanders and then someone asked them the question, ‘what about giving up your illegal firearms?’

“Well I tell you what … best way forward is to give the police the powers, give them the fire power to do it, and get on and take them.”

At the Arms Amendment Bill’s first reading in Parliament yesterday, she urged the government to consider firearm prohibition orders against gangs.

“One of the things I thought was most important was the issue around firearm prohibition orders, to enable to police to go into gang houses and seize firearms, whether they know for certain they are there or not.

“I’m sick and tired of listening to people emoting about how they’re feeling sorry, but they’re not going to give up their firearms.”

National MP Mark Mitchell…

“The fact that they were flouting the authority that this Parliament has, that this country has, in saying that they are not going to observe the legislation that this Parliament is passing.

“I 100 percent support in taking the strongest possible line that we can against gangs.”

But Mongrel Mob member Tai Pairama…

…said many gang members will surrender illegal firearms, despite what the gang’s Waikato president said.

“That’s his personal opinion, it’s not the opinion of the rest of the nation. The views are in his own inner circle, and some people are disregarding some of his comments.”

Plenty of time to hand them in.

Owners of illegal firearms have until the end of September to hand them into authorities.

Those who do not, including gang members, could face up to 10 years in prison.

I wonder whether the semi-automatic buy-back scheme will include or exclude illegally obtained weapons.

Leave a comment


  1. Reply
    • Ray

       /  3rd April 2019

      The initial police statements about handing in fire arms (not buy back) said that illegal arms would be accepted, no questions asked!

      • Duker

         /  3rd April 2019

        yes. It will have an amnesty as part of it . They have happened before. I dont see how you can get a buyback as part of it.

        • Gezza

           /  3rd April 2019

          Possibly if they produced an original receipt … :/

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  3rd April 2019

            Well, yes, nowadays the colour of the ink doesn’t give the age of the document away as it did in the past (the jet black was an obvious clue that something had been written much later than was claimed)

          • Duker

             /  3rd April 2019

            It will be a ‘used’ price for most of the weapons not in original packaging.
            Just a fridge drops in value the moment it comes out the manufactures box the same with any common item like a gun. maybe a few rare ones keep their value

  2. duperez

     /  3rd April 2019

    “Because of who we are, we can’t guarantee our own safety,” says Sonny Fatu.

    Is that quaranteeing safety from the commentators? Or for safety when helping with school lunch schemes or helping old women cross roads, the usual feel-good PR things we sometimes read about? Guns for those?

    Or safety in patch wars with other gangs and guns as necessities in the drug business?

  3. Corky

     /  3rd April 2019

    .”@JudithCollinsMP tells @GuyonEspiner, “I make no apology for being on the side of trying to protect people from gang members or anyone else illegally using guns.”

    Well, Judith, you and your government had many years to make that happen. Like Labour, you should have the balls to admit you have no control over the gangs. They have grown beyond your power.

    Sure, you can make a coordinated strike across the country on gang headquarters. And I suppose you may find one chapter, who after a three day ‘bender,’ forgot to hide a stolen .22 rifle…. with their armoury of semis at another location..

    On gangs. In my area the numbers of mobsters has skyrocketed. They now all ride Harleys.
    Some of those bikes cost over 30 grand. When they ride in convoy, they disobey all road rules. Motorists have to pull over and let them pass.

    Over to you, Judith.

    • Blazer

       /  3rd April 2019

      Harleys!!..Sacre bleu…Yamahas or even the odd Triumph would be acceptable…but Harleys!…they’ve gone too…far.

      • Corky

         /  3rd April 2019

        You jest, genius.

        Five years ago our local chapter had about three members on Harleys…now the chapter is kitted out with them.

        What’s changed? Where has this big influx of money come from? How come they can account for these bikes to the police..given most don’t seem to work?

        Maybe the police are scared to ask? 🤔

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd April 2019

        Blazer; I quite agree. They ought to be riding Nifty 50s.

  4. Zedd

     /  3rd April 2019

    sounds like Ms Judith & others (Natl MPs) are just using this, as another excuse to ‘go after the gangs’.. AGAIN.. she even talked about ‘Meth/Drug.. tuft wars’ (as the reason to suspect, they have guns).. potential ‘witch hunt’ against them & other ‘undesirables’ ??

    Mr Fatu’s comments were inappropriate, about not handing over their guns (that are now illegal), BUT he is is correct, about this being a ‘white supremacist’ attack.. NOT ‘Gang’ related :/

    • Gezza

       /  3rd April 2019

      I wonder if anybody has recorded & added up the numbers of people who have been shot, threatened, or robbed by gang members or associates with guns though?

    • Duker

       /  3rd April 2019

      Gangs use guns all the time – you want a summary ? It would be easier to say when they dont use them.
      Gangs dont have guns for lawful reasons – dont tell me they go rabbit shooting ?
      No patched gang member would get a fire arms license and once involvement with a gang is known it should be reason to revoke

      The general trend line of criminal use of guns is increasing – often sourced by legal gun license holders and on sold illegally . One guy a few years back legally bought 50 guns over a short period for altering and on sale- this doesnt change that but they have plans to update the whole ‘registering’ process which will be enabled by technology to be more accurate

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd April 2019

        I don’t have a gun and if I did, I wouldn’t sell it illegally. The risk wouldn’t be worth it.

  5. NOEL

     /  3rd April 2019

    From Muldoons photo opportunity no Govermennt has seriously dealt to gangs.
    The media fixation with this fringe society dirt bags proclamations is near to vomit producing.


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