New Zealand launches gun buyback policy after Christchurch mosque attacks, say police; failure to submit arms punishable

New Zealand opened a gun buyback scheme on Thursday, aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons similar to those used in the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Agence France-Presse June 20, 2019 09:26:45 IST
New Zealand launches gun buyback policy after Christchurch mosque attacks, say police; failure to submit arms punishable
  • New Zealand opened a gun buyback scheme on Thursday, aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons similar to those used in the Christchurch mosque attacks

  • 'The buyback and amnesty has one objective, to remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation following the loss of life,' Police Minister Stuart Nash said

  • Police said they were organising 'collection events' around the country where firearms owners could submit their weapons

Wellington: New Zealand opened a gun buyback scheme on Thursday, aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons similar to those used in the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed hours after the 15 March killings that New Zealand's gun laws would be tightened and her government has expedited the change in just three months.

New Zealand launches gun buyback policy after Christchurch mosque attacks say police failure to submit arms punishable

File photo of New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. ANI

"The buyback and amnesty has one objective, to remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation following the loss of life at Al Noor and Linwood mosques," Police Minister Stuart Nash said. The Australian man accused of the killings, Brenton Tarrant, is alleged to have used an arsenal of five weapons, including two military-style semi-automatic rifles (MSSAs), in the attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

Lawmakers voted to outlaw MSSAs, which allow the rapid fire of high-calibre bullets, by a margin of 119-1 in the wake of the worst massacre in modern New Zealand history. Licenced firearms owners will have six months to surrender weapons that have now been deemed illegal under the scheme, with an amnesty ensuring they will not face prosecution during that period.

After the amnesty expires, possession of prohibited firearms is punishable by up to five years in jail. Compensation will be based on the model and condition of the firearm, with the total cost of the scheme estimated at NZ$218 million ($143 million).

That includes NZ$18 million towards administration costs for what Nash said was "a huge logistical exercise". He said police knew of 14,300 registered MSSA rifles and there were an estimated 1.2 million firearms in the community, with the vast majority still legal under the new rules.

Police said they were organising "collection events" around the country where firearms owners could submit their weapons. Tarrant last week pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges, as well as 51 counts of murder and 40 of attempted murder. He was committed to stand trial in May next year.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Megan Schutt, Ashleigh Gardner propel Australia women to 17-run win over New Zealand in first T20I
First Cricket News

Megan Schutt, Ashleigh Gardner propel Australia women to 17-run win over New Zealand in first T20I

With the visitors closing in on Australia's total of 138, Schutt claimed the vital wickets of Katey Martin and Suzie Bates in the 18th over to leave the Kiwis struggling at 105-5.

Cricket Australia postpone Test against Afghanistan, ODIs against New Zealand
First Cricket News

Cricket Australia postpone Test against Afghanistan, ODIs against New Zealand

Australia were to host Afghanistan later this year at Perth in November while the Kiwis were to arrive in January 2021 but both the assignments have been postponed to the next summer (2021-22).

HCL Technologies to acquire Australia’s DWS Ltd for Rs 850 crore; shares up by 4.01% on BSE
Business

HCL Technologies to acquire Australia’s DWS Ltd for Rs 850 crore; shares up by 4.01% on BSE

DWS, with FY20 revenue at AUS $167.9 million, has over 700 employees and offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Canberra