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‘Two-thirds of banned firearms still circulating’

Friday is the last day to receive compensation for guns under the buyback scheme.

Gun rights advocates claim around two-thirds of banned firearms are still circulating and they worry the weapons could end up in the hands of criminals.

Amnesty ends this week after five months of the gun buyback collection, as the police remind people Friday is the last day to receive compensation for their guns.

Police say about 47,000 weapons have been handed in, causing the government to pay out more than $73 million as a result.

Until now gun owners haven't had to register each individual firearm, but the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners say there is a shortfall of about 70 percent.

The council's national secretary Nicole McKee says the process has been very rushed and believes there could still be at least 170,000 prohibited firearms in circulation.

The police and the government "have left it really late to define a lot of those rules. From October the 25th a new list of prohibited firearms were brought in," she says adding that, that is far too late and too little notice for people to respond.

"Once people realise they are going to go to jail for possession of these firearms they won't want to be holding them. So it will be really unfortunate if these firearms make their way to the black market because they're too afraid to hand them in."

She hopes people will seek out the information in the next four days to find out whether they possess anything on the prohibited weapons list.

"Regardless of whether firearms owners agree with the law or not - it is the law."

Despite her frustrations, which have been echoed by many gun activists across the country, Nicole encourages people to ask the police if they have questions before the amnesty ends in four days time.

A police spokesperson says there are still collecting events throughout the country and they advise people to visit their website for more information.

People can also hand-in weapons to their local police station or organise a bulk-pick for more than 10 items.

Meanwhile, enquiries into the privacy breach of police's online notification platform for the firearms buy-back programme are ongoing.

Eleisha Foon/RNZ.

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4 Comments
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Typical

Posted on 17-12-2019 19:29 | By

Well New Zealand continues to embarrass itself to all around the world. Yee haw.

Really?

Posted on 16-12-2019 23:04 | By

And you expected what? All the gangs to hand there firearms in, all the non-legit licenced firearms owners to hand their firearms in . . . Only the law abiding abide by the law. The others get away with it because you cannot police it. Realistically you have NO idea how many firearms are out there and at the end of the day shootings are going to happen because only the law abiding abide by the law. It’s time to get realistic and take your head out of the sand.

And YES

Posted on 16-12-2019 22:34 | By The Caveman

I would suggest that the Police can start visiting every licensed firearms holder in NZ "looking" for the illegal ones (guns) !! " Can we see your secure gun cabinet !!! However any licensed firearms owner who has something that the Government has made illegal will NOT have it in the "secure" firearms cabinet !! It will NOW be stashed away somewhere else - SECURE - but illegal !!!!!! And the police have NO chance of finding it !!! OH, and the chap with the WW2 "303" and 10 mags is "legal" - BUT he is not much behind the "semi-autos" that the Government is trying take off the 99% of the "we were once legal" gun owners !!

Well

Posted on 16-12-2019 21:40 | By

Well if you go to jail for having these guns well maybe the police shouldnt have to hand there in to why should they have them