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Over 32,000 illegal weapons handed in as gun buyback enters final 50 days

Police Minister Stuart Nash has issued a reminder that time is running out for gun owners to take part in the firearms amnesty and buyback.

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Anyone possessing banned weapons after December 20 will be breaking the law. Source: 1 NEWS

His reminder comes as there are just 50 days of the scheme left.

“Don’t wait,” Mr Nash says. “Police are very clear that the deadline is looming.”

He outlined some of the numbers involved in the buyback so far.

“Since that first collection more than 19,000 people have walked out the door with more than $62 million in payments. There have been almost 350 collection events, some held publicly and some held privately to suit gun clubs and hunting groups.

“More than 32,000 prohibited weapons have been removed from circulation. More than 120,000 prohibited parts such as high-capacity magazines have been handed in.

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"I'm really proud New Zealanders have bought into this," deputy police commissioner Mike Clement told Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

"If people don’t hand in the other prohibited firearms and parts by 20 December they will get no money and will face up to five years in prison and the loss of their firearms licence."

The buyback scheme comes after the March 15 Christchurch terrorist attack, in which 51 people died.

The country-wide amnesty ends on December 20. From then on, possessing a prohibited firearm will be a crime.