So, New Zealand has a quarter-million gun owners with, by most estimates, upwards of two million guns. The government there recently banned most semi-autos following the Christchurch massacre. And now, a local police superintendent describes himself as “ecstatic” that 150 gun owners turned in 224 guns.
New Zealand’s first gun buyback in the wake of the Christchurch shooting attracted more than 150 gun owners on Saturday, according to law enforcement officials.
The buyback, which took place in Christchurch, is the first of more than 250 planned nationwide this year.
Gun owners turned in 224 recently-banned semiautomatic weapons and more than 200 banned gun parts, receiving a total of NZ $433,682, or nearly $300,000, said Mike Johnson, police commander for the Canterbury Region, which includes the city of Christchurch.
Johnson said he was “ecstatic” with the turnout, which he said was strong despite concerns from local gun rights groups that gun owners participating in the buyback might be demonized.
Simple math suggests that if every confiscation event of the 250 scheduled netted the same number of guns, that totals a mere 56,000. Officials in Kiwiland don’t know how many of the up to two million guns in private hands there are now illegal. However, owners must surrender the prohibited ones before Christmas or face prison time.
Of course, the fact that the overwhelming majority of these gun owners have no intention of surrendering their guns should give the Kiwi government cause for concern.
Because when democracy turns to tyranny, gun owners still get a vote.