Thousands of Kiwi gun owners have handed in their firearms around the country. Photo: Supplied.

Gun buyback hits town

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The first of three local government buy-back schemes of semi-automatic weapons took place on Sunday with dozens of residents parting with their guns.

So far, more than $12 million of compensation has been handed out to more than 4000 Kiwi gun owners who have surrendered their firearms at collection events across the country.

After the March 15 terror attack, the Government set aside $200 million for the gun buy-back scheme.

The Christchurch mosque terror attacks led to the reform of gun laws banning all semi-automatic and military-style weapons. The gun reform bill also enacted a ban on pump action shotguns with detachable and non-detachable magazines and parts that enable firearms to be converted into more powerful weapons.

Local shooter and AR15 owner Steve Page said he was pleasantly surprised at the environment and attitude from the police at the Hope Hall.

“Right from the word go the atmosphere was not confrontational or punishing in any way and all of the police present were friendly, helpful and most understood that this was. for some owners, a difficult situation.”

Inside the hall he says it was a well organised procedure with obvious safety checks at the door and once inside there were refreshments, biscuits and even lollies for some of the youngsters who accompanied their parents. Normal hall tables were set out with lots of seating and a choice of relevant magazines were there to read as you waited for your allocated number to be called.

“When it was, you went up with your firearms and sat down with one of the recovery team and went through the process.”

On hand was Derek Coffey, the local police arms officer who also vetted the guns and after the check of licence and serial numbers, amounts and values were allocated for the weapons and accessories handed in.

The weapon was handed over and you received in writing a receipt of the amounts agreed to and what was to be paid into a nominated account within 10 days.

A price list published by police stated a gun in new or near new condition would get 95 per cent of its base price; guns in used condition, 70 per cent and guns in poor condition would get 25 per cent.

Upcoming locations and dates:

18 August, 11am–2pm, Mur­chison emergency centre

Richmond, 19 August 9am– 2pm, Hope Hall

Richmond, 15 September, 9am–2pm. Hope Hall