Following the Christchurch mosque shootings, New Zealand gun owners have only turned in 37 guns as of Tuesday March 19, 2019.
In the aftermath of the massacre which left 50 people dead, a small number of gun owners decided to voluntarily turn their firearms in to the local police.
New Zealand police confirmed these numbers but did not provide specifics on how many people owned those guns, the make and model of the guns, or the districts where they were turned in.
According to the 2017 Small Arms Survey, the island nation has approximately 1.2 million guns registered to civilians. Taking these numbers into consideration, this means that there’s roughly a 1 gun for every 4 people. On the other hand, it’s estimated that there is more than one gun per person in the U.S.
One day after the mosque massacres, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern proclaimed that her government aims to implement gun control, which includes a ban on “military-style” weapons that were allegedly used during the slaughter.
Ardern also called on New Zealand’s gun owners to turn their weapons over to the government:
To make our community safer, the time to act is now,” Ardern said on Monday. “I want to remind people, you can surrender your gun to the police at any time. In fact I have seen reports that people are in fact already doing this. I applaud that effort, and if you are thinking about surrendering your weapon, I would encourage you to do so.
The New Zealand Prime Minister recognized that passing sweeping gun control in a country with strong degrees of gun ownership in rural and farming areas would create “a small degree of uncertainty among some gun owners who possess guns for legitimate reasons.” Ardern reassured gun owners in these areas that the incoming wave of gun control would not be targeting them.
Gun owners who want to turn in their weapons have been directed to call their local police station or local arms officer. Then, gun owners have to fill out a firm and turn it in the police.
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