New Zealand police expect to receive thousands of guns in “buyback” program

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (NBC) – New Zealand police expect tens of thousands of firearms to be surrendered in a guns “buyback” scheme after Parliament passed tough new firearm laws in the wake of the country’s worst peacetime mass shooting.

Lawmakers in New Zealand voted almost unanimously Wednesday to change gun laws.

Less than a month earlier, a lone gunman killed 50 people in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.

Deputy Police Commissioner Michael Clement told a news conference Thursday they are not sure how many guns they would receive. New Zealand has no law requiring people to register firearms.

Dep. Commissioner Clement said, “The most significant changes around prohibiting most semi-automatic firearms, their parts in large capacity magazines. We recognize that for some firearm owners, these are significant changes. We ask for people to be patient while we work through the development of robust processes around large scale collection of firearms, exemption processes and developing a buyback compensation scheme.”

The new legislation bars the circulation and use of most semi-automatic firearms, parts that convert firearms into semi-automatic firearms, magazines over a certain capacity, and some shotguns. This includes the type of gun used by the suspect in the Christchurch shooting.

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