17 Jul 2019

Gun buyback: Good turnout for small town south of Whangārei - inspector

7:31 pm on 17 July 2019

More than 30 assault-style firearms, and large capacity magazines have been surrendered to police in Waipu at the first government buyback event in Northland this afternoon.

A selection of firearms which are now prohibited, on display to media at a police press conference.

A selection of firearms which are now prohibited on display to media. Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey

Police set up a base for two hours in the small town south of Whangārei to collect the weapons and arrange payment to the owners.

It follows on from the Christchurch collection last weekend which compensated gun owners $433,682 for handing in their weapons.

Inspector Chris McLellan said 30 people had handed in one or more weapons, along with ammunition.

He sid most were hunters or collectors, and the turnout was a good one for a community the size of Waipu.

Mr McLellan said some hunters had owned their firearms for many years, and were clearly attached to them.

But they said they could find alternatives, and felt it was right to hand them in.

Police are planning 20 more buyback sessions around the north over the next couple of months but say people can also take their guns in to their nearest police station, if they pre-arrange it.

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