In an initial move towards tighter gun control by the government in New Zealand, Christchurch held a gun collection drive, the first of 250 planned collections to happen after the Christchurch shooting in March.
New Zealand has become actively involved in banning firearms, ranging from semi-automatic weapons to pump-action shotguns and others. Weapon owners have until December 20 to hand in illegal guns under an amnesty agreement. According to Police Minister Stuart Nash, the aim of the elaborate exercise is to “remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation”.
The police-monitored collection drive in the Canterbury region, which includes Christchurch, saw the handing over of 224 weapons, 217 parts and accessories by 169 owners, with more than $290,300 paid in compensation. Regional police commander Mike Johnson said, “Police recognise that this is a big change for the law-abiding firearms community and we are hearing really positive feedback from people as they come through today, that they are finding the process works well for them”.