Semi-automatic firearms such as this SKS variant have been made illegal due to law changes. A buy-back scheme is heading to the Kaipara soon

Firearms buy-back begins

by Andy Bryenton

Police advise that after months of planning, the buy-back scheme for firearms now prohibited under changes to the laws surrounding gun ownership is set to roll-out.

Waipu, Maungaturoto and Dargaville now have dates set for gun owners to surrender firearms made illegal by this year’s law changes.

Collection and buy-back events are scheduled for July 17 at the Waipu Rugby Club from 3–7pm, July 18 at the Maungaturoto Community Hall from 3–7pm and July 30 at the Dargaville Rugby Club, also from 3–7pm. Officers will be in attendance alongside firearms specialists who will assist in the valuation of guns turned over on the day. To speed the process, police advise those planning to attend to visit the following website and fill in the online form before attending. While it will be possible to process this paperwork on the day, it will be a slower process visit police.govt.nz/advice/firearms-and-safety/changes-firearms-law-prohibited-firearms.

The decision to prohibit semi-automatic firearms and some variants of other guns, such as pump shotguns with a capacity for more than four cartridges, was made at a governmental level after the Christchurch massacres of March 15 this year. An official police statement clarifies the position that this change to the law is intended to aid in public safety.

“The possession, ownership and use of a firearm in New Zealand is a privilege and not a right, and it carries significant responsibilities. Firearm licence holders still have the ability to use a variety of firearms for sport, hunting and business purposes. This is about balancing the safety of our communities with the use of firearms for business and recreational purposes.”