12 Jul 2020

Mortar bomb among almost 4000kg of ammunition handed in

4:35 pm on 12 July 2020

New Zealanders handed in smoke grenades, a mortar bomb and even fireworks during the government's compulsory gun buyback scheme.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Documents released to RNZ under the Official Information Act revealed details of the ammunition part of the scheme, which came into effect after the Christchurch mosque shootings last year.

An unsuccessful attempt was made in the High Court by the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners for a judicial review not to compensate owners for now banned types of ammunition.

Read Police Minister Stuart Nash's responses (PDF 1.75MB)

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Stuart Nash Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The documents from Police Minister Stuart Nash reveal the government had no clue about how much ammunition was in the public domain.

"The amount is not known. The Arms Act 1983 does not require import permits for ammunition. A firearms licence is not required to import ammunition.

"As no compensation was available for ammunition, no system was set up to record the types of ammunition or other munitions handed-in," the OIA response said.

As well as handing in guns and ammunition, the OIA response said New Zealanders also handed in a variety of other things.

"People also took the opportunity to hand in a range of other items including components of ammunition, smoke grenades, a mortar bomb, fireworks and the like."

As at 11 November 2019, the OIA said 3725.15 kilos of small arms ammunition had been collected.

The amnesty was completed in December.

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