Christchurch shootings: New Zealanders hand over guns

Regional police commander Mike Johnson praised the attitude of gun owners at the buyback event

More than $130 million has been set aside to compensate owners of semi-automatic weapons.

Police said gun owners were compensated with a total of NZ$433,682 ($413,604), after 169 individuals handed in 224 prohibited firearms.

Police said at least 14,000 guns around the country are banned under the new legislation.

"We know the vast majority of firearms owners are law-abiding citizens", said Cahill.

Mr Nash urged more gun owners to head to Riccarton Racecourse tomorrow for the second day of the buy-back event.

"The reality is we've got twice as many weapons per capita as you have in Australia, and six times as many as exists in the United Kingdom", he said.

New Zealand authorities hope the scheme will be as successful as one in Australia that was implemented after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 on the island of Tasmania, where a lone gunman murdered 35 people.

Licensed firearms owners will have six months to surrender weapons that have now been deemed illegal under the scheme, with an amnesty ensuring they will not face prosecution during that period.

The amnesty to surrender firearms, parts, magazines and ammunition will also continue till the same date.

"I didn't think this would be a fair process at all - I wasn't particularly happy about it".

One seller said most of the people he'd spoken to were responsible gun-owners - and pretty annoyed they had to be there at all. "While disappointed they have to lose these sorts of firearms they understand why and they want to abide by the law".

The council has launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money to fight against possible further government-imposed gun restrictions.

In the aftermath of the shooting, New Zealand's parliament voted 119-1 to pass a bill banning most semiautomatic weapons, as well as parts that allow lower-powered firearms to modified into higher-powered ones.At the bill's final reading, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has garnered global recognition for her swift response to the shooting, gave an impassioned speech. The alleged gunman is now facing 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist act. He remains in jail ahead of his trial, which has been scheduled for next May.

Dozens of Christchurch gun owners handed over their weapons in exchange for cash in the first of more than 250 planned buyback events around New Zealand after the government outlawed many types of semi-automatics. There are concerns, too, that farming communities, which rely on firearms for hunting and pest control, will suffer because of the ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons.



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