How successful was the New Zealand Amnesty and Buy-Back?
New information shows that 36% of “military style semi-automatic” firearms (MSSA) stock was surrendered, not 33% as NZ Police estimated earlier.
The New Zealand Auditor General reviewed the government’s 2019 “buy back” and amnesty program in his 4 May 2020 report. The government’s stated goal was to confiscate semi-automatic military style firearms on the grounds that they had “the ability to cause harm in a rapid and highly destructive way from a distance.”
In Christchurch, New Zealand, a racist environmentalist murdered of 51 people at two mosques in March 2019. The socialist government, in a knee-jerk reaction, blamed “military-style semi-automatic” firearms, immediately passing an order-in-council to confiscate 13,500 semi-automatic firearms that had been required to be registered in the 1990s. Not satisfied, her government followed up her OIC by passing legislation prohibiting and confiscating between 170,000 – 240,000 semi-automatic and pump-action firearms. This bill received wide support in parliament, including the main opposition party, National. Only one MP representing ACT (Association of Consumers and Taxpayers) opposed the “buy back”.
After the deadline expired in December, the New Zealand Police announced the final numbers of surrendered firearms. While the Police have claimed success, critics disagree, noting that there is no agreement about how many guns were to be prohibited, primarily because many of the banned firearms had never been registered.
In May, the New Zealand Auditor General reported that, according to the provisional police data, as of 13 February 2020, a total of 61,332 firearms were surrendered, 10,009 of which were E-category firearms. In addition to the surrendered firearms, 4,211 applications for the new P endorsement were pending.
This new total of surrendered firearms is 5,082 higher than the initial NZ Police report in December 2019. It includes 477 additional E-category firearms that had been surrendered after December.
The New Zealand Auditor General revealed that the NZ Police had lost track of 1,862 E-category firearms because their records had been poorly maintained. Thus, the total of E-endorsement firearms could be as low as 13,175, instead of the 15,037 as originally reported.
These new provisional estimates, marginally improve the estimated success of the NZ confiscation scheme of “military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles” or MSSSA .
|Highest Estimate of Total Stock to be Surrendered||Lowest Estimate of Total Stock to be Surrendered|
The success based on the December estimates were slightly lower.
Not all of the firearms to be prohibited were previously covered by an E-endorsement.
|Estimated Success in December||Estimated Success in February (High count)||Estimated Success in February (Low count)|
|Number of E-endorsements||(15,037)||(15,037)||(13,175)|
|Surrender Success E-endorsements only||64%||67%||76%|
Similar to Canadian restricted weapons, in New Zealand, E-endorsement firearms are registered to the owner, which enables the police to know the name and address of the owner of each specific firearm.