Firearms amnesty opportunity closing

by Andy Bryenton

The deadline for handing in newly-prohibited classifications of firearm for compensation is drawing near, with mere weeks now standing between gun owners and the threat of being in breach of the law.

“Everyone with a prohibited firearm or part needs to hand them in, or they will be breaking the law after the amnesty ends on December 20 2019,” says Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Clement.

“Anyone prosecuted will lose their firearms licence and face a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment. Don’t risk it. Please get organised now and take the opportunity to hand in at one of our events, whether you are in Waipu or Wanaka.”

Police have already held more than 330 collection events throughout New Zealand so far and have talked to nearly 20,000 firearms owners. The law change and an amnesty period during which guns could be exchanged for financial compensation have been the sometimes controversial reactions by the central government to the tragic shooting massacre, which rocked Christchurch on March 15 this year. Semi-automatic firearms, parts such as extended magazines, certain shotguns with a large ammunition capacity and other specific arms have been reclassified, making many illegal to own.

Modern and ‘heirloom’ firearms may be affected, with no restriction placed on the year of manufacture.

The deputy commissioner has an unequivocal final statement for those still in possession of firearms now prohibited.

“Police thank all firearm owners that have taken part in the scheme so far and advise others not to delay their hand-ins any longer. The amnesty finishes on December 20 — no excuses.”

For more information on the process, please go to police.govt.nz or call 0800 311 311.