New Zealand’s Gun Confiscation Shaping Up To Be Massive Failure

New Zealand’s gun grab, instituted in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, isn’t going so great. In fact, with less than two months to go before the government-imposed deadline, fewer than 20% of the estimated number of banned firearms have been handed over.

New Zealand Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this week that more than 32,000 prohibited weapons have been returned to the government since collections began in mid-July. Some estimates put the number of newly-banned military-style semi-automatic rifles in the country at up to 175,000.

This would suggest a compliance rate, so far, as low as 18 percent, 16 weeks into the buyback program. With seven weeks left to go until the amnesty period ends, if the current rate of return holds, the New Zealand government is on track to collect around 50,000 prohibited weapons pursuant to the buyback. That would impute a final compliance rate of around 29 percent, at the lower end, which would represent a modest but tangible success for policymakers.

A “modest but tangible success”? I think it’s more like a complete failure. Let’s say when the deadline passes less than one third of the banned firearms have been turned in. What exactly has been accomplished, other than the compensated confiscation of a few thousand firearms and the criminalization of tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens?

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