Nation of outlaws? New Zealand’s gun ‘amnesty’ nets only 530 firearms

by WorldTribune Staff, June 5, 2019

In April, Reuters cited New Zealand police as saying they expected tens of thousands of guns to be surrendered after parliament passed tough new firearm laws in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shooting.

The new legislation prohibits the circulation and use of most semi-automatic firearms, parts that convert firearms into semi-automatic firearms, magazines over a certain capacity, and some shotguns.

Ownership of most types of  semi-automatic firearms is now prohibited in New Zealand.

The New Zealand government granted an amnesty until Sept. 30 for people to surrender prohibited items.

So far, 530 have been turned in.

New Zealand has an estimated 1.5 million guns in circulation. According to, at least 13,500 are military style semi-automatics.

“Anyone who understands gun ownership shouldn’t be surprised,” columnist Monica Showalter wrote for American Thinker on June 4. “Obviously, not everyone in New Zealand is onboard with the country’s hastily thrown together new law to expropriate weapons in the name of protection from mass shootings.”

What the 530 figure shows, Showalter wrote, “is mass resistance in response to the complete stupidity of blaming a mass shooting on the gun, not the foreign terrorist using the gun. That’s what New Zealand’s lefty parliament came up with in the wake of a hideous mass shooting at a Christchurch mosque last March by an Australian national. Instead of enacting legislation to, say, keep the likes of this nut out of their country, the Kiwis decided to target New Zealand’s gun-owners in what was abusively called an ‘amnesty,’ suggesting they were the ones who did something wrong. With turn-ins amounting to a rounding error, it’s obvious they’re resisting.”

According to Nationmaster, New Zealand has more crime per capita than the U.S., but has far less violent gun crime, “which doesn’t suggest that the problem there is gun-owners,” Showalter noted.

“What we are seeing here is the folly of hastily enacted gun control in response to a traumatic event. Guns in New Zealand have never been the problem.”

According to, New Zealand police now are anticipating that a large number of people with banned firearms in their possession won’t surrender them.

“The gun grab is a disaster,” Showalter wrote. “Not only does it falsely blame New Zealand’s gentle, civil, rural, gun-oriented culture for the act of a foreign misfit who shouldn’t have been let into the country in the first place, it now is leading to mass resistance. With one in four Kiwis believed to be gun-owners, according to reports, as much as a quarter of the nation have become outlaws.”

For the gun owners, “the full issue is about defending oneself, particularly in rural settings, and maintaining the New Zealand way of life,” Showalter wrote. “If the government wants to destroy that, which it does, well, then a nation of outlaws is the logical outcome.”

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