This just in from NZ City.

Three gang members have been sent to prison for their involvement in a shootout in Rotorua in 2015.

The Judge – Tony Snell  – said: “The public must be protected from the significant risks armed gang members pose”.

Well that does sound promising.

He was sentencing three men in the Rotorua District Court on Thursday, on charges of either possessing firearms or ammunition following a shootout between Black Power and Mongrel Mob members in the Rotorua suburb of Western Heights in late November 2015.

Judge Snell noted the three being sentenced belonged to a Black Power offshoot, the Mangakaha gang.

The men were Cramer McMeeking, Grant McMeeking and Thomas Te Aho senior.

They had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges after a police raid on a Mamaku property in December of 2015.

Judge Snell said it was clear the three had gathered with others at the Mamaku property, heavily armed, because they expected retaliation for the earlier shootout.

When police arrived Te Aho and another man were acting as sentries. Te Aho fled, tossing the sawn-off shotgun he was carrying into a neighbouring property. He’d subsequently given himself up.

Cramer McMeeking had a .22 pump action rifle hidden under a mattress.

“It was obviously ready to fire,” Judge Snell said.

Grant McMeeking had been found with 43 rounds of ammunition and a shotgun cartridge.

The judge said he didn’t accept “for a minute” McMeeking’s claim he was only present to diffuse the situation.

The Judge also said: “In the context of gang activity sentences of denunciation and deterrence must be imposed for the protection of the public because it is widely accepted that gangs with firearms are a significant risk to members of the public”.

Oh boy.

This is going to be BIG…

Te Aho was sentenced to just over 20 months jail time.

Cramer McMeeking to just over 21 months.

Grant McMeeking to five and a half months home detention.

Yep. Home detention.

That is showing them.

We. Need. Mandatory. Minimum. Non parole. Sentencing.