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New gun buyback scheme to begin next month

A new gun amnesty and buyback is set to kick off next month for police to collect further firearms and parts that were banned under last year's new gun laws. 

Police Minister Poto Williams Source: 1 NEWS

Police Minister Poto Williams announced the second buyback today, allocating $15.5 million in compensation. 

"This year’s buyback will look very different to the one in 2019 as there will be no large-scale collection events," Williams said. 

"Police will be managing the smaller buyback through appointments at police stations."

The amnesty will last for six months — ending on August 1. The buyback will begin on February 1 and ends three months later on May 1. 

"Having a firearms licence is a privilege, not a right," Williams said. 

"I know most of our firearms community are responsible, law-abiding citizens who have only good intent. However, our laws need to be robust enough to prevent firearms getting into the wrong hands."

An audit of the first gun buyback scheme found police managed it effectively and compensation was appropriate, but compliance was difficult to measure due to a lack of data.

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Over 50,000 firearms were handed in during the amnesty. Source: 1 NEWS

On December 21, 2019, the firearms buyback ended after 56,250 firearms and 194,245 parts were collected since the initiative began in June 2019. 

There were also 2717 firearms modified to make them lawful, police said in a statement. Approximately $102.2 million was paid in compensation.

Police have released the new price list for the firearms and items. 

Deputy Police Commissioner Jevon McSkimming said the difference between the new buyback and the previous one is they are now dealing with a smaller number of firearms and parts.

"They mainly impact pistols, and those pump-action rifles recently manufactured or imported through permit and dealer sales records."

National’s police spokesperson, Simeon Brown, criticised the buyback — saying there should be more emphasis on cracking down on gangs.

"That’s because most law-abiding New Zealanders handed in their now-prohibited firearms, but gangs and criminals, those who pose the greatest risk to our safety, did not."