Hundreds of gun owners rally outside several gun buy-back events

Hundreds of farmers, competitive shooters, hunters and their supporters gathered outside gun buy back sites today to continue their protest against the next round of gun reforms.

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Farmers, competitive shooters and hunter had the next round of the Government’s gun law reforms in their sights today. Source: 1 NEWS

The biggest of today’s turnout was in Ashburton.

Sam Kircher the organiser of a smaller group that met in Christchurch today says the same passionate group come out every time to protest.

“I’ve had men almost in tears, shaking, talking about how bad they feel about being demonised in the eyes of the public and blamed for a terrorist attack,” he told 1 NEWS.

The second wave of proposed reforms includes creating a firearms registry, extending licensing to cover parts and ammunition and giving police more tool to vet people. A licensing regime would also be introduced for clubs and ranges.

“The police can potentially come onto my property without a warrant and without notice,” gun owner Matt Judd told 1 NEWS.

In a statement, Acting Police Minister Kelvin Davis says while a small number have opposed the legislation, the law was passed with near unanimity of Parliament and will make our communities safer.

As the four protests happened around the country today, the Government’s gun buyback scheme continues. So far more than 40000 guns have been handed back and $78m returned to their owners.

Protesters say the scheme is not the answer.

“What they are trying to do with trying to get New Zealand safer, none of those guns are being handed in, they’re all being held by criminals who are completely ignoring the law of course,” says new Conservative Firearms Spokesperson Victoria O’Brien.

Submissions for the new reforms have closed and the police are reminding gun owners there are only three weeks left to hand their prohibited firearms back.