If you think you still have plenty of time to hand in your prohibited firearms, think again say Police.
“There are just 50 days to go to hand in prohibited firearms and parts for amnesty and buy-back. There will be no extension so if you want compensation for your firearms, to keep your licence and don’t want to be prosecuted, hand in your firearms now,” says Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement.
“Everyone with a prohibited firearm or part needs to hand them in or they will be breaking the law after the amnesty ends on 20 December 2019,” says Mike Clement.
“The question I have is, what are you waiting for? Anyone prosecuted will lose their firearms licence and face a penalty of up to five years imprisonment. I’d have to say to all the gun clubs and firearms enthusiasts out there, surely this is not what you want – to be unable to enjoy hunting or the hobby you enjoy ever again?”
Firearm holders have had multiple opportunities to hand in their prohibited items since the programme started on 20 June. Just over 32,000 firearms have been handed in.
“The vast majority of firearms owners understand why we are doing this. To those that have taken part, I say thank you. To those that have yet to do so, the time is now and you have a number of options so there are no excuses,” says Mike Clement.
There are 50 days to go and Police want to make it clear what those options are:
• Attend a collection event and hand in your firearms/parts as soon as possible.
• Drop into one of the 41 approved dealers.
• If you want to hold onto your firearm for sentimental reasons and it can be modified, get this in train now.
• Apply for an endorsement licence if you are a pest controller/collector now.
• If you think you have a unique/rare item – apply now.
“I want to be very clear though. On 21 December, whether you are a licenced firearm holder or a gang member, if you are unlawfully and without authority in possession of a prohibited firearm you will be committing a criminal offence. Failing to comply with the law is not the action of a law abiding licenced firearms holder.
“Please do the right thing”, says Mike Clement.
For more information on the collection events, modification and other options available to you or to seek help with the process please go to www.police.govt.nz or call 0800 311 311.
Editor’s note: DC Mike Clement is available for interviews.