The Police Association says the attempted shooting of an officer in Auckland is another reason for the police to carry guns.
The officer was fired at by a gang member named as Murray Toleafoa while checking a vehicle on Mayoral Drive in the central city at about 1am on Friday.
The weapon was a hand gun very similar to a police issue Glock.
The association says most frontline staff want to be armed, but the Police Commissioner and the Prime Minister are opposed to the idea.
Association president Greg O'Connor says Friday's attempted shooting is another incident that will inevitably lead to police having firearms on their person.
Police are looking for Murray Toleafoa and Nadia Ball, the driver of the car.
Toleafua is part of the Tribesmen gang. Police say he is dangerous and should not be approached.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard says 20 officers are working on the case.
He says a number of sightings of the suspect have been reported but none have been confirmed at this stage.