New Zealand government on thursday launched more than 208 million dollar six month buy back scheme to compensate owners of newly banned semi automatic weapons which was prohibited after the deadly attacks on two mosques in the southern city of christchurch. They were banned by parliament in april few weeks after the shootings occured. In march a gunman killed 51 people and injured dozens of people in mass shooting on two mosques in Christchurch.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Minister of Police Stuart Nash said in a joint emailed statement that “NZ$208 million ($135.97 million) had been set aside to compensate owners of the banned semi automatic firearms up to 95 percent of the original cost.” Stuart Nash also added “Police have detailed plans in place for the next step which is the collection of firearms from the community.
It will be a huge logistical exercise and is expected to get under way in mid july.” The owners can hand over their weapons untilDecember 20. “The buy-back has one objective to remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation” Minister of Police Stuart Nash said. Parliament has passed the gun betterment law. It’s the first considerable changes to the country’s gun laws after decades through a vote of 119 to 1 in April. The new gun laws in April has banned military style semi automatic weapons and parts that can be used to assemble forbidden firearms. 95 percent money of the weapon will be compensated.
Existing gun laws had provided for a standard ‘A category’ gun license which cover semi automatics limited to seven shots. The government said “Police estimated around 14300 military style semi automatics would be covered by the new law. It is difficult to predict the exact number.” Almost 700 weapons had already been handed over to the compensation scheme that was launched and almost 5000 had been registered by owners with police, while they are awaited for collection. Robertson said “There is high uncertainty around any costs, owing to the lack of information on the number of prohibited items, their type and condition. Better estimates of the total cost would be available once the buy-back was under way and the government would top up the amount if needed.”On 15 march australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, who claims to be white supremacist attacked the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch.
He is charged for the murder of 51 people and 40 counts of attempted murder and one terrorism charge in New Zealand’s deadliest mass shooting. His semi automatic rifles were modified with high capacity magazines, so that they can hold more bullets than the previous one. According to the Small Arms Survey “With a population of just under 5 million New Zealand is home to an estimated total of 1.5 million firearms making it the country with the 17th highest rate of civilian firearm ownership in the world” New Zealand Police record in 2016 says “It is estimated that there were 1.2 million legal firearms owned by civilians,that equates to around one for every four people.”