In this April 2 photo, Police Sgt Paddy Hannan shows New Zealand lawmakers an AR-15 style rifle similar to one of the weapons a gunman used to slaughter 50 people at two mosques, in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: AP file
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New Zealand gun owners turn over their weapons for money

33 Comments
By NICK PERRY

Dozens of Christchurch gun owners on Saturday handed over their weapons in exchange for money, in the first of more than 250 planned buyback events around New Zealand after the government outlawed many types of semi-automatics.

Police said they paid more than 430,000 New Zealand dollars ($288,000) to 169 gun owners during the event. The money was paid directly into the bank accounts of gun owners.

New Zealand lawmakers in April rushed through new legislation to ban so-called military-style weapons after a lone gunman killed 51 people at two Christchurch mosques in March.

The government has set aside more than NZ$200 million to buy back weapons such as AR-15 style rifles, although many gun owners remain unhappy with the compensation on offer.

Under an amnesty, gun owners have until December to turn over their now-banned weapons.

Police said at least 14,000 guns around the country are banned under the new legislation. There are an estimated 1 million to 1.5 million guns in New Zealand and 250,000 licensed gun owners.

Under the buyback scheme, gun owners are compensated between 25% and 95% of the pre-tax price of a new gun, depending on the condition of their weapon.

People who own guns that are not banned under the new laws can also turn over their weapons during the amnesty, although they won't get any compensation. Police said a half-dozen such weapons were turned in during the Christchurch event.

Police are using hydraulic machines to crush the gun barrels and firing mechanisms of the weapons that are handed in, rendering them inoperable, before disposing of them.

Mike Johnson, an acting district police commander, said the Christchurch buyback had been a success and the attitude of gun owners "outstanding."

Police Minister Stuart Nash said the results from the first collection were very encouraging.

"Many of those who handed over firearms commented how easy the process is, how the prices are fair, and how police made the whole event go smoothly," Nash said in a statement.

But Nicole McKee, the secretary of the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners, said the government was shortchanging gun owners by trying to complete the buyback on the cheap.

She said gun owners were forced to rely on police assessments of the condition of their guns and weren't getting paid anything for the thousands of dollars they had spent on tax as well as certain accessories and ammunition.

"They do want to abide by the new laws but they have no incentive and they're having fingers pointed at them and are being treated like criminals," McKee said. "They're angry at the way they're being treated."

The council has launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money to fight against possible further government-imposed gun restrictions.

McKee, who declined to say how much money they had raised, said they hadn't received any money from the U.S. National Rifle Association as far as she was aware.

She said the group wasn't in communication with the NRA, other than receiving a note of sympathy from the U.S. organization after the March attacks.

Hera Cook, a public health researcher who co-founded the group Gun Control NZ after the March attacks, said that before the massacre, most New Zealanders had no clue how easy it was to get hold of weapons capable of being used for mass killings.

She said she hopes the government enacts further gun control measures, including creating a register of guns and introducing shorter license periods for gun owners.

She said some of the gun owners complaints about getting short-changed or treated badly appeared to have some merit, and that "wasn't a good look" for the government.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist, has pleaded not guilty to terrorism, murder and attempted murder charges following the March attacks. He remains in jail ahead of his trial, which has been scheduled for next May.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
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This is a fair deal, NZ faces no invasion threat there is no possible reason for my neighbors to own such a weapon. They are fun I admit. But not a necessary in day to day life. Get your,....some of your money back buy a bolt action and hunt without firing 30 rounds at one animal. There is your money back straight away. One should be enough, or take the opportunity to be better as a shooter. If rabbits, dear or pigs start arming themselves I'm sure the government would arm the population until then skill up.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

If this happened in Chicago alone, the US govt. would go bankrupt.

Nice idea on this buyback, but NZ is just a tiny little country with no influence on the world. Rather then spending money on buying back guns, I think they would be better spending money on shoring up buildings not strong enough for the never ending quakers.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

I take my hat off to NZ, they want a peaceful country and they are prepared to do what it needs to get there. This is a big step forward to disarm people who really have no need for these killing machines.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Nice idea on this buyback, but NZ is just a tiny little country with no influence on the world.

Australia did exactly this over 20yrs ago. it drastically reduced the number of gun crimes and massacres. proof is in the facts

11 ( +16 / -5 )

The weapon in that picture is disgusting.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Only a good idea if the criminals also hand in their weapons

3 ( +12 / -9 )

ozziedesigner

Only figure I could find for that was, "around a dozen weapons were also handed in under amnesty provisions, where their owners did not receive compensation but will be immune from prosecution for possessing them."

Not heaps, but better than zero.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/07/13/world/asia/new-zealand-guns.amp.html

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Only a good idea if the criminals also hand in their weapons

The old NRA "good guy with a gun" spew. There has never been a case of a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun in NZ. There has been a mass murder by a racist Aussie with one of these now banned guns as recent as March 2019. I'll take my chances with less frustrated white guys playing with lethal penis replacements that are capable of killing 50 innocents at a time. They can buy bagels instead.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Great idea. Next, they should declare private ownership of non-hunting weapons illegal, and offer an amnesty period for their surrender, after which the penalty for possession of handguns increases each month. There would soon be lakes full of handguns, and fewer on the streets. One wishes that the US would take a lesson.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

@simon g

Sadly we don't live in an ideal world buddy. I wish we did and nobody had guns especially the military and criminals. But tell me how disarming the innocent and those that use an automatic gun for a living (hunters farmers) fixes anything for the innocent/law abiding other than making them a softer target ? What is the real motive for the gun control eh ?

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Ozzie

Name a single time in NZ an assault rifle has stopped a criminal. What addled world do farmers and hunters use automatic weapons? Try reading the laws, professional hunters are able to apply for exemptions.

Good For You trying to spin the NRA line but you have proven you know nothing about the NZ gun laws.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Don't let MS-13 hear about this...

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Are the various types of bullets being restricted too ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

mmwkdw

Sorry, not a gun guy myself but as far as I can work out, not so much bullets, rather certain magazines and parts which can modify legal weapons.

https://www.police.govt.nz/advice/firearms-and-safety/changes-firearms-law-prohibited-firearms?nondesktop

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If the point is to resist the govt, we need to own nukes amd fighter jets

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There are no automatic weapons in NZ. Never have been.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Australians can holiday live and work in NZ without and visa and vice versa. The reason he choose NZ is because he had easy access to these weapons in NZ like a NZ citizen can also do, fully auto and semi auto weapons are totally banned in Australia and only single shot or bolt action weapons are available with a maximum of 6 round clips. Like another poster said it could have been any nationality that did the massacre point is it the easy access to these weapons that made it possible. NZ is now aligning its gun laws with those in Australia. Fact still remains your about 18 times more likely to die from gun violence in the US compared to NZ or Australia

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Fact still remains your about 18 times more likely to die from gun violence in the US compared to NZ or Australia.

You also have to factor in we have the 3rd largest population 320 million more diverse of cultures and religions and add to that the 2nd amendment. It’s more complicated than that and not a cut and dry thing.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Just a heads up New Zealand... before you jump to any knee-jerk destruction of these weapons; Words out Eric Holder is always looking to cut a wholesale deal...

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Why would any civilian need a gun like that?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

bass4funk

India has a much bigger population and far less gun-related death. The US is no more or less diverse than Australia or NZ, both of which have less gun crime. 2nd Amendment? Now we are on to something.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

You also have to factor in we have the 3rd largest population 320 million more diverse of cultures and religions and add to that the 2nd amendment. It’s more complicated than that and not a cut and dry thing.

nothing cut or dry about the statistics

Australia NZ have about 1.04~1.07 gun deaths per 100,000 people

USA 19.5/100,000

India 0.3/100,000 1.3billion population

China no statistic given but id guess it about the same as India

every 1st world country has a substantially lower gun death rate than the US and most 2nd world.

even Columbia with its corruption and huge drug cartel problems is about the same as the US 20.3/100,000

Mexico with all those bad hombres , drug cartels murders fair better than the US, 12.9/100,000.

America has the highest gun ownership of any country in the world by far. 1.2 guns for every person, you can understand why the gun violence rate is so high.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You also have to factor in we have the 3rd largest population 320 million more diverse of cultures and religions and add to that the 2nd amendment. It’s more complicated than that and not a cut and dry thing.

nothing cut or dry about the statistics

Australia NZ have about 1.04~1.07 gun deaths per 100,000 people

USA 19.5/100,000  

India 0.3/100,000  1.3billion population

China no statistic given but id guess it about the same as India

every 1st world country has a substantially lower gun death rate than the US and most 2nd world.

even Columbia with its corruption and huge drug cartel problems is about the same as the US 20.3/100,000

Mexico with all those bad hombres , drug cartels murders fair better than the US, 12.9/100,000.

America has the highest gun ownership of any country in the world by far. 1.2 guns for every person, you can understand why the gun violence rate is so high.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You also have to factor in we have the 3rd largest population 320 million more diverse of cultures and religions and add to that the 2nd amendment. It’s more complicated than that and not a cut and dry thing.

Your population size is irrelevant. Your diversity of religions and cultures is not exceptional, nor relevant. Your laws are your own responsibilty. You think that you can't change because change means defeat.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

how easy it was to get hold of weapons capable of being used for mass killings.

Like walking into a department store and buying a knife or ax?

They are fun I admit. But not a necessary in day to day life.

And how many other things can be described exactly the same way? Should all those things be banned too?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

And how many other things can be described exactly the same way? Should all those things be banned too?

Do those other things have a function beyond being a weapon? How much utility is in each one beyond killing?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Dom Palmer

When was the last time 51 people were killed by one person with an axe or a knife? How many other things can be described as being specifically designed for the sole purpose of killing?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

People would much rather face attackers wielding a knife than a gun - people have a better chance to outrun or fight off a knife than a bullet

4 ( +6 / -2 )

People would much rather face attackers wielding a knife than a gun - people have a better chance to outrun or fight off a knife than a bullet

there is no room for logic when it comes to pro gun argument

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@RiskyMosaic

I raised the question on whether the various types of Bullets were being restricted as a Serious subject-matter question - which you blatantly dismissed without providing any evidence. I suspect, that I have actually touched upon a rather sensitive matter Globally among Gun enthusiasts.

Dum-dum bullets are banned, even though with their blunted ends they are very effective. So why not, focus upon the bullets associated with the various types of guns used in these attacks ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And... if the answer is that various guns can all share the same caliber of bullet, then shouldn't we be focusing upon that as the restriction too, rather than just the Gun type alone ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mmwkdw

I answered your question in good faith, by linking to information provided by the organisation facilitating the buy back. If my answer was unsatisfactory, or you need further information, then look it up yourself. Thanks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is really a debate about which is more important; the greater good or the individual good.

The gun nuts are correct in their arguments - if guns are illegal only criminals will own guns. This is a fact, which is why they have been saying it forever. The idea is that if only criminals can have guns, I as an individual then have no way to protect myself against criminals with guns. Therefore, making guns illegal infringes upon my right to defend mine and myself.

The above is the prioritization of the individual good.

The gun haters are also correct in their arguments - if guns are illegal, it is much harder for criminals to get guns, which results in less criminals having guns, which in turn means the people generally don’t have to worry about not having a gun, since they aren’t getting shot at in the first place. This is also a fact, which is why they (ok, we) have been saying it forever. The ideas is that I’m ok with not being allowed to own guns, as I know that means there is not a large supply of legal weapons in the society that are bleeding into the criminal element, who are the very people more likely to use them. Therefore society must make guns illegal, resulting in a safer society overall.

The above is the prioritization of the greater good.

So it really comes down to whether you think it’s preferable to stack the odds in your own favor, even if it means being more likely you’ll need that gun, or if you think it’s preferable to make the overall game safer, making it less likely you would ever need a gun in the first place.

This debate is one generally with Americans. When you think about it though, they must have some PTSD as a nation from living with so many guns for so long. The concept of living in a society where there are no or very few regulated guns is not one they would be able to conceptually understand. It’s like trying to explain to an abused child that it’s ok, they can be safe in another home with love. That child has never known a place of safety, and therefore cannot comprehend what such an environment would even mean, or how it would work.

For those of us who have lived in places like Japan, where guns are not even an afterthought for us in our day-to-day lives, it’s clear that making guns illegal, or at least highly regulating them, is not even debatable as being the correct solution.

But the gun nuts feel equally certain about their need to have guns to protect themselves. In their world that has always been full of guns and likely never will be free of them, the idea that you wouldn’t need a gun isn’t even debatable as being the correct solution.

It’s like trying to debate the color blue with a blind man.

For both sides.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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