Aug 12, 2019

New Zealand gun owners hand over 10,000 firearms in buyback scheme

Collected firearms at Riccarton Racecourse in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: New Zealand Police/Getty Images

Gun owners in New Zealand have handed in more than 10,000 firearms in a gun buyback scheme following the fatal mass shooting in Christchurch, police said in a statement issued to news outlets Monday.

Why it matters: NZ banned military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles and introduced the buyback scheme after the March 15 massacre. The U.S. has seen multiple mass shootings, but gun rights advocates oppose such restrictions. Several Democratic 2020 candidates back gun control, calling for change after massacres in El Paso and Dayton this month.

By the numbers: "A total of 10,242 firearms have been handed into NZ Police as part of the firearms buy-back scheme, as of 11 August," New Zealand police said in the statement.

"Additionally, another 1,269 firearms have been handed in under amnesty. A range of prohibited firearms have been handed in."

The big picture: The gun buyback scheme began on July 13 in response to the shooting inside 2 Christchurch mosques, which killed 51 people.

  • New Zealand police say there have been more than 90 collection events around the country so far, attended by 7,180 firearms owners. The amnesty and buyback finishes on Dec. 20, NZ police said.
"We have been really happy with New Zealand’s engagement and response to this process and we look forward to more people taking part in the buy-back scheme over the coming months."
— New Zealand Police statement

Go deeper: Breaking down New Zealand's swift weapons ban

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Why it matters: It was the influential group's first public action since the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

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