New Zealand citizens handed over more than 10,000 pieces of weapons, parts and accessories to the police in the first week of a country’s arms purchase plan after the worst mass killing in peacetime, police said on Sunday.
A reform of the arms acquisition law was issued in April, banning most semi-automatic rifles and parts used to convert weapons into semiautomatic rifles and storing bullets greater than a certain number of shots and some rifles.
Gunmen still have until December 20 to hand over their weapons and the government has allocated 208 million New Zealand dollars ($ 140.63 million) to compensate them for up to 95 percent of the original cost.
The arms purchase plan comes four months after 51 people were killed in an attack by a man with semiautomatic rifles on Muslims who were praying Friday in Christchurch mosques, New Zealand’s southern island, in March this year.
A spokesman for the police told Reuters by telephone on Sunday that more than 2,000 people had handed over 3275 firearms and 7,827 pieces of weapons and accessories, and the authorities had in return paid just over six million New Zealand dollars ($ 4.06 million).
The police said they were happy to receive delivery on Sunday because 684 people handed over 1,061 weapons and 3397 parts of weapons and accessories in events across the country.
On Wednesday, media reported that Christchurch residents were upset over the proposed opening of a branch of the Jan City arms store in the city.
The March 15 Christchurch terrorist, Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, bought four weapons and ammunition from Jan City on the Internet from December 2017 to March 2018, shop owner David Teble said in March.
Tarrant has pleaded guilty to 92 charges against him, including the charge of terrorism.