Police pay more than $1 million compo to Canterbury firearms owners over weekend

Police paid a total of $1,022,599 in compensation to Canterbury firearms owners in the first gun buy-back event held over the weekend in Christchurch

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

Police say in addition to 542 firearms handed in, there was a total of 578 parts and accessories collected at the event held at Riccarton Racecourse.

The Government has set aside more than $200 million to buy back many types of semi-automatic weapons such as AR-15 style rifles, banned by the Government after the Christchurch mosques terrorist attack in March.

Under an amnesty, gun owners have until December to turn over their now-banned weapons.

Yesterday's local collection event surpassed Saturday's attendance with 200 firearms owners processed.

Provisional figures for Sunday saw a total of 293 prohibited firearms and 321 parts and accessories handed in.

The amount compensated to firearms owners yesterday was $537,197.

“These first two days of local collection events and implementing the buy-back scheme has been a first for both the Police and firearms owners," Acting Canterbury District Commander Mike Johnson said.

"This weekend has been a great success but we are fully aware that this is just the start of what will be a six-month process,” he said.

"Once again, I can’t thank the Canterbury firearms owners enough for their support and engagement in this process.”

It was the first of more than 250 planned firearms buy-back events to be held around New Zealand.