Buyback praised

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

Police have praised gun owners for their part in collection events andconfirmed they were pleased with with how engaged all firearm owners were in the process.

Senior Sergeant Stan Leishman, of Balclutha, said the six collection days went very well.

“Five sites in the Clutha district were used for the buyback collection process, with two being held in Balclutha. Overall, the people were really good. Even the odd grumpy person could see that they were doing the right thing.”

Snr Sgt Leishman said the main comments he kept hearing from many gun owners taking part was their amazement at how much money they were receiving for their guns under the buyback pricing structure.

Of the accepted firearms handed in to police for buyback so far, 68% are categorised in the price list as centrefire semi-automatics, valued at under $10,000.

Other categories handed in include:

Rifles 11+ rounds (valued at under $2000) 17%.

Shotgun pump action, non-detachable magazine, 6+ cartridges (valued at under $5000) 8%

Shotgun semi-automatic, non-detachable magazine, 6+ cartridges (valued at under $5000) 4%

Shotguns with detachable magazines (valued at under $2000) 3%.

Police deputy commissioner Mike Clement said Police had collected thousands of semi-automatic firearms and assault rifles during the course of the buyback so far.

“We are also in contact with E-Cat endorsement holders who own prohibited MSSAs and have yet to comply with the law. The last thing we want to see is law-abiding citizens at risk of facing charges and losing their future firearms licence by failing to comply,” Mr Clement said.

Three months after the announcement of the buyback scheme, 15,187 firearms owners have been processed, handing in a total of 24,073 firearms and 88,765 parts and accessories. The total amount of compensation to firearms owners to date is $45.4million.

August 23: Toko Rugby Club, Milton: 51 people handed in 78 firearms and 205 parts.

August 24: Owaka Search and Rescue Club: 30 people, 26 firearms, 122 parts.

August 25: Balclutha War Memorial Hall: 42 people, 64 firearms, 149 parts.

August 30: Balclutha War Memorial Hall: 20 people, 21 firearms, 52 parts.

August 31: Lawrence Golf Club: 29 people, 42 firearms, 101 parts.

September 1: Clinton Rugby Club: 20 people, 33 firearms, 128 parts.