Gun confiscation is a very taboo subject here in the USA, but it’s a topic that tends to come up in the wake of any atrocity carried out by a shooter, such as the Las Vegas shooting at a country music festival last year, where 851 people were killed, around half of those directly from gunfire.
Last week, New Zealand saw its first such attack in modern history, when a gunman attacked a mosque in the New Zealand town of Christchurch, killing dozens of people before being arrested and taken into custody.
In the wake of the attacks, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern almost immediately pledged that the country’s gun laws would change, hinting at an outright ban on semi-automatic weapons.
Many in the media expected this to happen, but what is surprising is that a great deal of people are voluntarily giving up their own firearms for destruction, before the new laws have even been implemented.
#NewZealand: In response to the massive attack, the country has vowed to tighten its considerably-loose gun control laws, including banning semi-automatic assault rifles.#BREAKING #BreakingNews #ChristchurchAttacks #ChristchurchAttack #NewZealandAttacks #NewZealand #guncontrol pic.twitter.com/CrR3GfqLkM
— Prairie News (@PrairiesNews) March 18, 2019
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, John Hart, the farmer and Green Party member from the Wairarapa, revealed that he dropped off his own semi-automatic rifle at the police station earlier this week, with “no questions asked.”
Given that the country is currently on a high terror alert, Hart had the foresight to first go in and check on the process before he brought his rifle in there with him. “I didn’t want to just rock up with a rifle,” he said.
When he returned with the weapon to have it voluntarily confiscated, he said the process was pretty straightforward.
“I literally just signed a form and handed it in,” Hart said. He further revealed that those in charge have assured him that the rifle will be destroyed, in a “very strictly controlled” process. Hart later took to Twitter to call upon other semi-automatic rifle owners to do the same and have their guns destroyed.
‘Until today I was one of the New Zealanders who owned a semi-automatic rifle. On the farm they are a useful tool in some circumstances, but my convenience doesn’t outweigh the risk of misuse. We don’t need these in our country. We have to make sure it’s #NeverAgain’, he tweeted.