Dozens hand over semi-automatic weapons to police

5:22 pm on 20 March 2019

Dozens of people are handing their semi-automatic weapons in to the police, right around the country says Police Minister Stuart Nash.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The government isn't far away from announcing it's changes to gun laws, which are likely to include a buy back scheme and may include a ban on these weapons with some exemptions.

But many are beating the government to it. Mr Nash said these people are absolutely doing the right thing.

"I absolutely encourage them to do that," he said.

"Probably a good idea to give them a call beforehand because wandering into a police station with a military-style semi-automatic... police just need to know they're coming."

On social media, some gun owners have posted about taking their guns to the police to be destroyed - and the prime minister is encouraging anyone who has contemplated following suit to do so.

Alan Knight, who lives on Waiheke Island, said he's decided to surrender his semi-automatic firearm.

"I'm going to hand it in and just ask the police to get rid of it."

Mr Knight said he was using it to shoot rabbits.

Meanwhile, military-style semi-automatic rifles are among those no longer available on Gun City's website.

A variety of weapons disappeared from the store's website earlier this week.

During a press conference on Monday, Gun City's owner David Tipple confirmed the weapons' store sold four A-category firearms to the alleged mass murderer responsible for the Christchurch terror attacks.

In addition to the military-style semi-automatic weapons - or E-category firearms, it also appears several other types of A-category semi-automatic rifles, such as .223 and .308-calibre rifles, have been removed from the retailer's website.

Mr Tipple has not responded to requests for clarification from RNZ News, but it appears the weapons are still available in the retailer's physical stores.

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