Monday, 19 August, 2019

NZ buys back 10,000 firearms after Christchurch attack

Patty Aguilar | 13 August, 2019, 12:12

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's government set aside about $100 million to buy the guns when it pushed through legislation in April to ban military-style semiautomatic weapons.

However, others began stockpiling weapons and ammunition that would soon be banned, and numerous gun clubs and hunting associations have criticised the buyback scheme, saying the compensation offered was paltry and the majority of law-abiding gun owners should not be penalised for the actions of one individual.

More than 10,000 firearms have been bought by New Zealand's government in less than a month as part of its gun buyback scheme following the Christchurch mosque shootings in March.

In a statement, the New Zealand police praised gun owners' engagement with the process, and said they were "really happy" with the public response.

But the figure is still a tiny proportion of the estimated number of weapons thought to be outlawed.

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

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Gun owners receive 95 percent of a "fair market value" for weapons in new or near-new condition, 70 percent for those in average condition, and 25 percent for those in poor condition.

Armed police respond to a shooting Friday at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Nicole McKee, the spokeswoman for Colfo said many of its members were unhappy they had to give up their guns, when unlicensed owners were less likely to do so.

After the amnesty expires, possession of prohibited firearms is punishable by up to five years in jail.

The gun reforms since the Christchurch massacre have come with some pushback.

"There are 250,000 of us here in New Zealand and by the time you add in the immediate family members and those affected by this - we're talking over a million people - so I think we deserve to have a say", Ms McKee said in July.

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