New Zealand launches gun buy-back scheme

Will Jackson be next?

Several rifles

New Zealand has launched a gun buy-back scheme in the wake of the deadly Christchurch mosque shootings.

More than $208m New Zealand dollars (£108m, $136m), have been set aside to compensate owners of semi-automatic weapons which were banned following the attacks.

The ban was agreed by parliament in April, weeks after the shootings.

In March, a gunman killed 51 people at a mosque and Islamic centre during Friday prayers.

How will the buy-back work?

The scheme, which only applies to licensed guns, will last six months meaning people will have until 20 December to hand in their weapons.

“The buy-back has one objective – to remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation,” Minister of Police Stuart Nash said.

“Police have detailed plans in place for the next step, which is the collection of firearms from the community. It will be a huge logistical exercise and is expected to get under way in mid-July.”

The new gun laws agreed in April ban military-style semi-automatic weapons and parts that can be used to assemble prohibited firearms.

The money set aside will compensate owners up to 95% of the original price of their weapons.

Police estimate that around 14,300 military style semi-automatic weapons would be covered by the new legislation.

So far, almost 700 weapons have already been handed in before the buy-back scheme was launched and around 5,000 have been registered by owners for the police to collect.

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