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Gun owners hand over firearms at first buy back event in Christchurch

Dozens of Canterbury gun owners have been handing over their weapons at Riccarton Racecourse today, in the first of the government's 258 buy-back collections.

There's been a high security presence as armed police monitor and usher in gun owners.

Almost 100 middle aged men - many accompanied by their partners - have come to hand over their semi-automitic weapons.

In March, the government restricted ownership of semi-automatic weapons, in response to the mosque massacres in the city.

Today's gun buy-back collection is the first of 258 which will be run across the country until the end of the year.

The scheme gives owners 70 per cent of the base price for new or used gun, and 25 per cent of the base price for poor condition.

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Almost 170 people turned out to hand in their illegal firearms in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS

The government has restricted ownership of semi-automatic weapons following the Christchurch mosque attacks, and people will have until 20 December to hand them over unless they are a certified collector.

Some of the gunowners told RNZ that although it was disappointing, they understood the reasons why it had to be done and praised police over the simple process.

All those spoken to said they were pleased with the process.

Media have been barred from attending the event. It continues until 3pm, when police are expected to brief the media on how it went.

Police district commander Mike Johnson earlier said more than 900 registrations have been made for more than 1000 weapons in Canterbury so far.

rnz.co.nz

Dozens of gun owners handed in their weapons, which have been made illegal in the wake of the mosque shootings.
Dozens of gun owners handed in their weapons, which have been made illegal in the wake of the mosque shootings. Source: rnz.co.nz