New Zealand gun owners have given up more than 10,000 guns after the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history.
Since July 13, at least 11,511 guns have been voluntarily surrendered as part of a nationwide gun buyback scheme. The plan was launched after a gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch in March. A month later, New Zealand banned most semi-automatic weapons. The program allows gun owners to sell their semi-automatic weapons back to the government until December 20.
“We have been really happy with New Zealand’s engagement and response to this process and we look forward to more people taking part in the buyback scheme…” the New Zealand police said in a statement.
New Zealand has set aside $133.2 million for the program. Australia conducted a similar program in 1996, when the government bought more than 650,000 guns after a mass shooting in Port Arthur as part of the National Firearms Agreement. Since then, there have been fewer mass shootings and gun-related deaths in Australia.