New Zealand Starts Gun Buyback Program In Response To Christchurch Mosque Shootings

New Zealand Starts Gun Buyback Program In Response To Christchurch Mosque Shootings

Gun Rights

New Zealand’s first gun buyback in the wake of the Christchurch shooting attracted more than 150 gun owners on Saturday, according to law enforcement officials. The buyback, which took place in Christchurch, is the first of more than 250 planned nationwide this year. Gun owners turned in 224 recently-banned semiautomatic weapons and more than 200 banned gun parts, receiving a total of NZ $433,682, or nearly $300,000, said Mike Johnson, police commander for the Canterbury Region , which includes the city of Christchurch. Johnson said he was "ecstatic" with the turnout, which he said was strong despite concerns from local gun rights groups that gun owners participating in the buyback might be demonized. This first buyback comes four months after a gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch, killed 51 people and injured dozens more. The alleged gunman is now facing 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist act. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His trial is expected to begin in May of next year. In the aftermath of the shooting, New Zealand’s parliament voted 119-1 to pass a bill banning most semiautomatic weapons, as well as parts that allow lower-powered firearms to modified into higher-powered ones. At the bill’s final reading, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has garnered international recognition for her swift response to the shooting, gave an impassioned speech. She spoke of visiting gunshot victims in the hospital and of being shocked by the […]

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