Extra $40m injected into gun buyback scheme, as Government explains how compensation process will work

The Government is setting aside an extra $40 million for the firearms buyback scheme, as further details of the plan were released today.

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Police Minister Stuart Nash and Finance Minister Grant Robertson made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS

The scheme was introduced following the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch, which left 51 Muslim worshippers dead and dozens injured.

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The total set aside for the scheme is now more than $200 million. Source: 1 NEWS

The price list of the guns would be released by police today, with compensation sitting at 95 per cent for new and in-new condition firearms, 70 per cent for those in used condition and 25 per cent for guns in poor condition. 

"The buy-back price will reflect the brand, make and model of the prohibited firearm; its base price; and its condition," a statement said. 

Only those with a valid firearms license would be compensated for firearms. Parts and magazines would not require a license. 

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The deputy PM told TVNZ1’s Breakfast the cost was unknown, but could be $100 million higher than earlier suggested. Source: Breakfast

There is also a new option so prohibited firearms are able to be modified by approved gunsmiths to become lawful, with $300 to be paid for this by the Government. 

Police Minister Stuart Nash today said the six month 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 on March 15". 

"The approach to prices balances fair compensation for people’s firearms and a fair cost for the tax payer," he said.

He told media the buyback would be based on market, not retail prices of the guns. The valuations had been created by KPMG, which consulted with members of the gun-owner community. 

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Officials have been thrashing out the details of the changes today as the Government seeks political support. Source: 1 NEWS

"I’m absolutely confident police have this right," Mr Nash said. 

When asked why the buyback was limited to those with firearm licences, Mr Nash said they had worked closely with Australia on issues that had been created from its buyback, which included people with guns who did not have a licence. 

Mr Nash said they found there were "unintended consequences" that saw people stealing guns to receive the buyback offer. 

The buyback offer begins today until December 20. 

The 2019 Budget provided for $150 million to go into the firearms buy back scheme and $18 million for the implementation of the scheme. The extra $40 million pulls the total up to more than $200 million. 

"The compensation scheme recognises licenced firearms owners are now in possession of prohibited items through no fault of their own, but because of a law passed by almost the entire Parliament," Mr Nash said. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the additional $40 million that came from ACC is in recognition "the buyback scheme is likely to contribute to a reduction in the severity and incidence of injuries from the prohibited firearms".

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It’s not nearly enough to compensate the owners of military-style semi-automatic rifles, the group says. Source: 1 NEWS

"There is high uncertainty around any costings, owing to the lack of information on the number of prohibited items, their type and condition," he said. 

"Better information will be forthcoming once the buyback is underway and volumes and conditions of firearms are clearer."

Mr Nash said the collection of firearms from the community would be a "huge logistical exercise" by police, expected to start in mid-July. 

"There will be four options for collection: large-scale events at centralised community locations; handing over items at approved gun dealers; bulk pickups by police; and at police stations," he said. "Delivery to a police station is the least preferred option.

"The police preference is for people to hand-in firearms, parts, magazines and ammunition at the large community events. This will be the most effective and efficient approach. Until then, firearms owners should keep their items safe and secure."

People who thought their guns were priced incorrectly could pay $120 to get it revalued. Police will pay the additional cost if it is found to be valued more, but the gunowner will not get the $120 valuation cost back, Mr Nash said.