This April, the New Zealand national government banned a sweeping array of legal firearms, including antiques and collectibles.
Slated for mandatory “buy-back” using public funds, an estimated 170,000 of the country’s more than 1.2 million legal guns were targeted by the new restrictions. Owners who did not elect to sell their often treasured family heirlooms to authorities– sometimes at comparatively paltry pre-set prices– faced a lengthy jail term if they did not comply by last week.
The above video from the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO), a local pro-gun organization that opposed the government’s campaign, features various New Zealand gun owners showing off now-prohibited firearms ranging from vintage Winchester cowboy guns to war trophies brought back from European battlefields.
Besides all centerfire semi-auto rifles, the prohibition covers even lever-action, bolt-action, and pump-action rifles if they have a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition, regardless if they are chambered in centerfire or rimfire calibers. When it comes to shotguns, pumps and semi-autos capable of holding more than five shells are now banned.
In the end, just 56,250 firearms were handed in by the end of the year, a figure less than one-third of those estimated in circulation. According to police, some 58 percent were in new or near-new condition, while 63 percent of all firearms collected were centerfire semi-autos. Further, 194,245 prohibited firearm parts such as magazines were collected.
The program cost the government over $100 million.
New Zealand’s Minister of Police, Stuart Nash, said that “Other people now report their firearms were lost or stolen and these are being reviewed or investigated,” while an extensive proposed gun register and tighter licensing system are planned.
“Police are now preparing to follow up firearms license holders who are known to still hold prohibited guns. My strong advice to these people is to voluntarily surrender them or face the risk of prosecution, loss of license and firearms, and five years jail,” said Nash.
Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calf, applauded New Zealand lawmakers on “a job well done,” following the statement up with “the U.S. should follow suit.”
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