Several gun owners in New Zealand have made the decision to voluntarily surrender their firearms to police after 50 people were killed in the Christchurch terror attacks.
On Monday afternoon, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Cabinet had made an “in principle” agreement and will announce gun law reforms in 10 days.
Ardern told media that she believes the reforms will make “our communities safer”.
“I want to remind people you can surrender your gun to the police at any time,” she continued. “I’ve seen reports that people are in fact already doing this. I applaud that effort and if you’re thinking about surrendering your weapon I would encourage you to do so.”
Unsure of the process of surrendering a firearm, Hart first shared his intentions with authorities before returning to the police station later that day.
“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,” he tweeted.
“We don’t need these in our country.
“We have [to] make sure it’s #NeverAgain”
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.
— John Hart (@farmgeek) March 18, 2019
Another user tweeted the decision to hand in their firearm after 31 years was “one of the easiest … I have ever made.”
Kiwi auction website Trade Me also announced they had halted the sale of semi-automatic weapons “while we await clear direction from the government.”
“We’re obviously still reeling, like all New Zealanders, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families and friends.
— trademe (@TradeMe) March 17, 2019