In the wake of the Christchurch shooting in April, the New Zealand government immediately passed a ban against most semi-automatic rifles of the sort used in the terror attack. This ban was retroactive, meaning that it was not only illegal to go out and purchase a new AR-15 style rifle, but it was also illegal to remain in possession of your already-owned guns.
To confiscate these weapons fairly, the government introduced a buyback program, the details of which were released this week. But even proponents of the law and the buyback say New Zealand is ripping off gun owners and undermining its own mission by offering lowball prices to owners and dealers.
“Some of the offered prices for higher-end firearms are well out of kilter,” lamented Council of Licensed Firearms Owners spokeswoman Nicole McKee. “We’re talking thousands of dollars.”
McKee told the New Zealand Herald that many gun owners were mulling over the possibility of thwarting the law because of the unfair pricing structure.
“It may get to a point where we have to look at court action on behalf of our members,” she said, “and that is something we will be looking at under advice from our lawyers.”
From the New Zealand Herald:
This morning the Government released details of its gun buyback scheme, which covers more than 300 guns as well as high capacity magazines and other parts, but excludes business losses.
It follows the gun law reform in April that banned most military-style semi-automatics (MSSA) and associated components in response to the Christchurch terror attack that killed 51 people.
Police released an extensive list of guns, each with a price for poor condition (25 per cent of the base price), average condition (70 per cent of the base price), and new or near-new condition (95 per cent of the base price).
The list also includes gun parts – including magazines, silencers, open sights and custom triggers – with a different price setting: 70 per cent of the base price for new or used, and 25 per cent of the base price for poor condition.
“The Government kept saying they weren’t going to rip us off,” fumed McKee. “They said they would pay full value. They’re not, and 250,000 [firearms license holders] are starting to feel ripped off. They’re angry and they’re frustrated.”
Huh. A liberal government decides at the drop of a hat to make illegal a gun that was brought into the country by a foreigner to commit an act of terror, and somehow they find a way to screw (until now) law-abiding gun owners out of fair compensation? Who could have seen it coming…