Sun, 28 Feb 2021

Next steps in firearms buy-back

Beehive
22 Jan 2021, 11:38 GMT+10

The next steps in the Government's ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.

"The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited parts and magazines. We are resolute in ensuring our firearms reform programme is stopping firearms falling into the wrong hands," Poto Williams says.

"This next amnesty and buy-back is about removing further firearms and arms items that were prohibited and restricted through the Arms Legislation Act 2020 which passed in June 2020.

"Once this group of firearms came to the Government's attention, it was clear we had to act again to ensure all the good work done to keep our communities safe last year was not compromised.

"The Government has allocated $15.5 million for compensation and administrative costs, noting that this buy-back is on a much smaller scale than 2019.

"This year's buy-back will look very different to the one in 2019 as there will be no large-scale collection events. Police will be managing the smaller buy-back through appointments at Police stations."

The central elements of the scheme are:

The amnesty is in place for six months until 1 August 2021. The buy-back compensation period will start on 1 February and end on 1 May. Standard compensation must be applied for within those 90 days. Applications for compensation for unique specified items must be made within 60 days. The buy-back price will reflect the brand, make, and model of the prohibited firearm; its base price; and its condition. A price list will be published today by Police. The compensation for newly prohibited firearms and pistol carbine conversion kits will be 95 per cent of base price for those in new or near-new condition; 70 per cent of base price for those in used condition; and 25 per cent of base price for those in poor condition. The compensation for parts of these items will be 70 per cent of base price for those in near new or used condition; and 25 per cent of base price for those in poor condition. Compensation for newly prohibited firearms will only be paid to those with a valid firearms licence. Dealers and manufacturers will be compensated for stock. Applications must be made within 60 days (and supporting evidence then provided within 20 days). Hand ins will take place at Police stations by appointment - given the much smaller number of firearms expected this time. Applications for endorsements to possess and use prohibited firearms and pistol carbine conversion kits can be submitted now and must be submitted within 60 days (by 2 April 2021) of the start of the buy-back. There will be no modifications allowed for this group of prohibited firearms.

"Police will publish more information on their website today to provide people with more details on how the buy-back will operate.

"Having a firearms licence is a privilege, not a right. I know most of our firearms community are responsible law-abiding citizens who have only good intent. However, our laws need to be robust enough to prevent firearms getting into the wrong hands" says Poto Williams.

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