The New Zealand Government has put through an indefinite extension on it’s firearms amnesty and buyback scheme. The gun buyback scheme came into force in response to the Christchurch mosque attacks and was initially set for a six month period.
Owners of now banned firearms have until 20th of December 2019 to have in their firearms and receive compensation, but under the changes can now hand in their firearms after the date without penalty.
The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) in New Zealand have called the scheme a failure. They’ve pointed out that what equates to only 21% of all now banned firearms have been received under the buyback scheme. Criticisms on the scheme have pointed out that the compensation amounts have been significantly below the true market value of firearms leaving firearm owners out of pocket.
COLFO has suggested that New Zealand follow in Australia’s step with a 12 month minimum amnesty scheme, which proved significantly more successful in its aims. COLFO has encouraged it’s members to comply with the scheme and abide by their legal obligations at all times.
UPDATE 21/12/2019 – as of the 21st of December, the gun buyback scheme in New Zealand has completed, with a total of 51,000 guns being handed in. This figure is significantly below the total estimated 170,000 semi-automatic firearms estimated in the market, putting the compliance rate at less than 1 in 3.
Meanwhile the gun buyback scheme has cost the government just over NZ$100 million to compensate gun owners and a further unquantified amount in administering the scheme.
The Opposition National Party has said the amnesty has collected less than a third of what police and firearm stakeholders had previously advised were out there.
“The Government made a mistake in targeting law-abiding firearms owners when they should’ve targeted the gangs who peddle misery in communities across New Zealand,” National Party spokesman Mark Mitchell said.