Tag Archives: gun buyback programs

New Zealand begins its gun “buyback collection”

I prefer to call this scheme “compensated confiscation.”

From MSN: New Zealand has started the first of more than 250 gun buyback collections for banned military-style semi-automatic weapons in the wake of the Christchurch mosque massacres.

Police have set up the first firearms collection event just a few kilometres away from where a lone gunman opened fire at two Christchurch mosques in March, killing 51 people.

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. Mr Tarrant in June pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges, as well as 51 counts of murder and 40 of attempted murder.

New Zealand police said they had paid about $200,000 to dozens of gun owners handing in their weapons in the first hours of the buyback event.

In the wake of the worst massacre in modern New Zealand history, MPs voted 119-1 to outlaw military-style semi-automatics, which allow the rapid fire of high-calibre bullets.

The Government is offering money for every gun handed back by a licensed owner, with the total cost of the scheme estimated at NZ$218 million ($207 million).

Chris Cahill from the Police Association said he expects a positive response. “We needed these semi-automatic assault rifles out of the community, but it’s appropriate that people who have had to hand them in are compensated for it,” he said.

But Nicole McKee from the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners said the compensation package was not fair and reasonable. “It happened so quickly that there was no democratic process involved and there were no discussions involved with the community that had been affected,” she said.

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

Professor Kevin Clements from Otago University told ABC’s The World program that general public opinion was “completely in favour” of the measures, despite complaints from gun owners. “The reality is we’ve got twice as many weapons per capita as you have in Australia, and six times as many as exists in the United Kingdom,” he said.

So on a per-capita basis New Zealand is a fairly over-gunned society, and those guns kill people, in suicides and homicides and so forth, at the rate of about one a day.”

He said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had responded in much the same way as John Howard after the Port Arthur mass shooting.

But he said some in the gun lobby were urging firearms holders not to hand over their weapons and to bury them instead, and that many were disappointed that ammunition would not be compensated.

Some 258 collection events will be held across New Zealand over the next three months, and police expect tens of thousands of guns to be surrendered.

Licensed firearms owners will have six months to surrender weapons that have now been deemed illegal under the scheme, with an amnesty ensuring they will not face prosecution during that period.

After the amnesty expires, possession of prohibited firearms is punishable by up to five years in jail.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said police knew of 14,300 registered military-style semi-automatic rifles and there were an estimated 1.2 million firearms in the community, with the vast majority still legal under the new rules.

DCG

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Atta girl: Baltimore woman participates in gun buyback program to upgrade to a “better weapon”

Mayor Catherine Pugh: “We want your guns”

From Fox News: A woman in Baltimore is using the city’s gun buyback program, not to get firearms off the street but to upgrade to a better weapon.

On Monday, the city’s Police Department paid gun owners anywhere from $25 to $500 for their unwanted firearms and magazines in an attempt to get weapons off the street, FOX 45 News reported. By 5:30 p.m., more than 500 firearms had been collected.

The city paid out $25 for rifle magazines that carry more than 10 rounds, $100 for revolvers, and pump and bolt-action weapons, $200 for semi-automatic weapons and $500 for fully automatic weapons.

While some residents turned in firearms that went unused for years, a woman who went by the name Darlene told the station she was turning in her 9 mm so she could “upgrade to a better weapon.”

“I don’t know [what type of weapon],” she said. “I haven’t quite decided.”

Others said they were turning in their weapons for quick cash or to support the city’s efforts to thwart gun violence.

Many cities have embraced gun buyback campaigns in recent years, but experts have said they are ineffective at reducing gun violence, USA Today reported.

A big flaw is that the firearms collected usually are not the kind typically used in crimes. “They make for good photo images,” said Michael Scott, director of the Center for Problem Oriented Policing, based at the University of Wisconsin’s law school. “But gun buyback programs recover such a small percentage of guns that it’s not likely to make much impact.”

Another problem is the programs tend to attract people who are less likely to commit crimes.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said she isn’t deterred by the studies. (Of course not, why let facts get in the way of your feeeeeeeeeelings.)

“There are all kinds of studies that say all kinds of different things,” the mayor told Fox last week. “Our point here is, there are guns on the streets of our city. We are signaling folks out there, we don’t care if it’s Grandpa’s gun or your gun, we want it.”

The city hosted another buyback campaign Wednesday and will have another Friday.

In Hartford, Conn., city officials have held a gun buyback programs for the past decade. A buyback campaign last week netted 137 firearms, FOX 61 reported. Some of the firearms are destroyed while others serve a more useful purpose. A manhole cover used in the 1990s was made from 172 pounds of confiscated guns. Another Nazi-era firearm was auctioned.

“Not one more victim of senseless violence or gun in the wrong hands that will commit an act of violence,” said Hartford Police Lt. Paul Cicero, a detective in the Hartford police Major Crimes Division. “Just recently we had a four-year-old that shot themselves in the hand with an unsecured firearm in a house that was also an unwanted gun. So, we want to take those guns off the street.”

DCG

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