New Zealand has set aside R1.9 billion to buy back guns after the Christchurch shooting
- New Zealand on Thursday launched a gun buyback program after passing new laws to ban semi-automatic weapons in response to the deadly Christchurch shooting in March.
- New gun laws went into effect in New Zealand on April 12 and ban the distribution and ownership of military-style automatic weapons or their associated parts.
- The new buyback program has set aside R1.9 billion in order to collect the banned guns, parts, and ammunition by December 20. The scheme will compensate gun owners for up to 95% of the cost of their weapon.
- Visit Business Insider South Africa's homepage for more stories.
New Zealand on Thursday launched a gun buyback programme after passing new laws to ban semi-automatic weapons in response to the deadly Christchurch shooting in March.
New Zealand's parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing stricter gun laws in April, just weeks after the country experienced the worst mass shooting in its history. 51 people were killed and 49 others were injured after a gunman opened fire on worshippers in two separate mosques using a semi-automatic weapon.
New gun laws went into effect on April 12 and ban the distribution and ownership of military-style automatic weapons or their associated parts. Owning a banned weapon is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Minister of Police Stuart Nash announced the launch of the program in a joint press statement, promising licensed gun owners "fair compensation" for their weapons handed back during a six-month amnesty period.
"The compensation scheme recognizes licensed firearms owners are now in possession of prohibited items through no fault of their own, but because of a law passed by almost the entire Parliament," Nash said in the statement.
The new buyback program has set aside $NZ208 million (R1.9 billion) to buy back the banned guns, parts, and ammunition by December 20. The scheme will compensate gun owners for up to 95% of the cost price of their weapon.
"The approach to prices balances fair compensation for people's firearms and a fair cost for the taxpayer," Nash said.
According to Reuters, almost 700 weapons were handed back by gun owners before the buyback program was launched, while thousands of others already registered firearms with police for collection.
Robertson said there was a high degree of uncertainty surrounding costs for the buyback program thanks to a lack of information regarding how many banned firearms are in circulation, as well as their condition and type.
He added that better estimates would be available once the program was underway and that the government would provide a "top up" for funding for the program if necessary.
The suspected Christchurch shooter has been charged with engaging in terror act and also faces 51 counts of murder and 40 counts of attempted murder. Last week he pleaded not guilty to all charges, and his trial is set to begin next year.
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- FNB gave away free money – here’s what will happen if you don’t pay it back
- This is how much South African ambassadors are paid – after all their expenses are covered
- FNB customers saw up to R3,600 magically appear in their bank accounts – but now the bank wants it back
- These are the ten entry-level jobs employers are most desperate to fill – and for which they will pay up to R374,000 a year – according to Gumtree
- This will likely be the cheapest SONA in 5 years - R500,000 cheaper than the last one in February
- 'He has a point': Christine Lagarde tackled Trump's trade war, climate change, and the gender pay gap on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah