More Than 10,000 Guns Have Been Turned Over in New Zealand Buyback

Elias Hubbard
August 13, 2019

In June, officials announced a gun buyback program that pays gun owners to turn in their firearms or other newly prohibited items. By August 11, 10,242 firearms had been handed into police, according to a New Zealand police spokesperson. Owners aren't paid for weapons if the amnesty provision is invoked, per NPR.

A month after New Zealand's gun buyback scheme began, 20,242 firearms have been handed in to authorities.

Despite more than 1 million guns in circulation in New Zealand, police and gun control advocates say they're happy with the progress.

Within weeks, New Zealand's Parliament voted for tough gun law reforms, including a ban on semi-automatic firearms and a buyback scheme.

The total cost of the scheme estimated to be $207 million.

New Zealand Police also do not have any statistics on how many military-style semi-automatics there are.

"We expected, based on what the Australians told us of their own [gun buyback] experience in the mid-1990s, that we would get a surge at the start, a lull in the middle, then another surge at the end", Deputy Commissioner Clement said.

Among their complaints is that the legislation was passed too quickly and that compensation rates are unfair and could cause a spike in black-market sales. Owners can bring in their guns until December 20.

Worshippers pray at a makeshift memorial at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on March 19.

Soon after the shootings, the notorious Mongrel Mob gang said they would refuse to relinquish their outlawed weapons because they needed to protect themselves from other gangs.

"We are confident as a government that the vast majority of New Zealanders will support this change", she said.

Anyone who possesses a firearm that is now barred by New Zealand law could face up to five years in prison.

"The lawyers will tell you there are strong legal rights in this country about going to court on legally held property if the government wanted to confiscate it".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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