New Zealand just launched its nationwide gun buyback program, following the Christchurch attacks that killed 51.
“We do not want to 15th of March and the events that happened that day to be repeated,” New Zealand Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. “We have made a commitment that we want these weapons out of circulation, and we believe that this buyback process is very important part of that.”
Robertson said more than $135 million was budgeted to compensate owners of banned weapons. The list of banned weapons includes most semi-automatic firearms, magazines that hold more than five rounds of ammunition, and gun components that enable semi-automatic action
Owners could be compensated up to 95% of the original price for their weapons until December 20.
“Compensation is necessary because of a new law agreed to by almost the entire Parliament in response to the events of the 15th of March.” New Zealand Police Minister Stuart Nash said. “The buyback and amnesty has one objective: to remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation.”
A gunman opened fire in two New Zealand mosques on March 15, killing 51 and injuring dozens of people. Less than a month later, New Zealand’s Parliament voted 199 to 1 to ban the weapons used in the killings.
While some advocates have complained that police are offering unfair compensation for their firearms, police say nearly 700 weapons have already been surrendered.