New Zealand's first gun buyback event a success, police say

Dozens of gun owners handed in their weapons which have been made illegal in the wake of the mosque shootings

Dozens of gun owners handed in their weapons which have been made illegal in the wake of the mosque shootings

The buyback event was held in the wake of shootings at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, in which 51 people were killed.

Under an amnesty, gun owners have until December to turn over their now-banned weapons.

The Australian man accused of the killings, Brenton Tarrant, is alleged to have used an arsenal of five weapons, including two military-style semi-automatic rifles, in the attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

Chris Cahill, from the New Zealand Police Association, which represents officers, believes the buy-back scheme will go smoothly.

About 903 Canterbury gun owners have registered 1,415 firearms with the police.

At least 250 more of the events are already planned over the next three months, with every district over the country scheduled to hold one next weekend.

The new laws bar the circulation and use of most semi-automatic firearms, parts that convert firearms into semi-automatics, magazines over a certain capacity and some shotguns.

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Dozens of Canterbury gun owners have been compensated more than $433,682 so far at the first of the government's 258 buy-back collections at Riccarton Racecourse today.

There's also confusion over whether some guns will comply with the law if they are modified - with full details yet to be revealed. The amount each individual will receive will depend on the value and condition of their guns.

Christchurch firearm owner Vincent Sanders urged TV Original Zealand that he would be staying away after being supplied handsome $150 for his grandfather's 100-year-former gun.

There are concerns, too, that farming communities, which rely on firearms for hunting and pest control, will suffer because of the ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons.

A judicial inquiry into whether New Zealand's police and intelligence services could have prevented the Christchurch mosque attacks in which 51 worshippers died began taking evidence on Monday.

Christchurch firearm owner Vincent Sanders is one of those who won't be attending, saying he's going be paid $150 dollars for his grandfather's 100-year-old lever action 22. The suspected shooter is now facing 51 murder charges, 40 attempted murder charges and one terrorist attack charge, according to reports.

A total of 224 guns were handed in today at the Government's first buyback event.

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