The identities of two men allegedly caught with a 9mm pistol have been suppressed.
The men, aged 19 and 23, faced a joint charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, namely a 9mm pistol when they appeared in the Tauranga District Court today.
Police said the pair were arrested following a series of incidents involving firearms and damage in the Western Bay of Plenty and inquiries were ongoing.
The two defendants were represented by duty solicitor Taryn Bayley, who sought interim name suppression for the pair until they were fully represented by legal counsel.
No pleas would be entered at this stage, Bayley told Judge David Cameron.
Judge Cameron said it was appropriate to grant the request for name suppression amid concerns raised about the men's safety if identified, but he said the suppression orders would be revisited at the men's next court appearances.
One defendant is due back in Tauranga Registrar's Court on February 3 and the other in the same court on February 13.
Judge Cameron imposed a number of strict bail conditions, which included a nightly curfew and a ban on the pair associating with anyone connected to the Mongols gang.