What weapons are banned in New Zealand

After Christchurch: 170,000 illegal weapons still in circulation in New Zealand

Wellington / Christchurch - Shortly before the end of the gun buy-back program, a good two thirds of the self-loaders banned after the attack in Christchurch are still in circulation in New Zealand, according to the gun lobby. That's around 170,000, as the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners (Colfo) estimated on Sunday.

According to the police, around 47,500 weapons had been handed in by Thursday. There is no arms register in New Zealand. The exact number of privately owned self-loaders is therefore not known.

The nationwide "Buy Back" program is the result of the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand's South Island. A racist from Australia shot 51 Muslims there in mid-March who had come to Friday prayers. The 28-year-old broadcast the act live on the Internet via Facebook. New Zealand's government made up of Social Democrats, Populists and Greens then banned semi-automatic weapons such as those used by the perpetrator.

Amesty and money for gun owners

In addition, the government made the equivalent of around 121 million euros available to buy back the weapons. People who bought their weapons legally should get back up to 95 percent of the purchase price. There should be an amnesty for owners of illegal weapons if they go to the police.

The self-loaders can be handed over to the police until Friday. Due to the high number of weapons still in circulation, Colfo assumes that the buyback program will "fail". The decision was made hastily; more weapons than first announced had been banned and the financial compensation from the police was poor.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, however, considers her program to be a success. "There are tens of thousands of guns out of circulation. That's a good thing," she said. (APA, dpa, December 16, 2019)