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New Zealand Gun Owners Are Voluntarily Surrendering Their Firearms Following Christchurch

"This is one of the easiest decisions I have ever made"

Some New Zealand gun owners are voluntarily surrendering their firearms after 50 people were killed in a mass shooting there last week — while the country’s government is moving forward with gun reform, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“You can surrender your gun to the police at any time. In fact, I’ve seen reports that people are already doing this,” Ardern told reporters following the terror attack.

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Several New Zealanders have taken to Twitter to announce they’ve given up their weapons after the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

“Since I first heard about the atrocity on Friday afternoon I have reflected and reserved my thoughts,” tweeted user @SirWB, alongside a photo of a New Zealand police “arms surrender form.”

“Monday morning – this is one of the easiest decisions I have ever made. Have owned a firearm for 31 years.”

Prime Minister Ardern met with New Zealand’s cabinet ministers Monday and said they were “completely unified” in moving forward next week with reforming the country’s laws. She vowed to announce the reforms “within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism,” noting that Australia “took 12 days to make a decision” on gun reform after a mass shooting there in 1996.

“These aren’t simple areas of law. So that’s simply what we’ll be taking the time to get right,” she said.

New Zealand First has not supported previous gun reform attempts, but its leader, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, said Monday, “Our world changed forever and so will some of our laws,” the Guardian reports.

The alleged gunman, Australian-born Brenton Tarrant purchased the five guns, including two semi-automatics, he used in the massacre legally, Ms Ardern said. 

On Monday, New Zealand’s largest online auction site, TradeMe, banned the sale of semi-automatics and “associated” accessories.

“We’ve had a lot of contact from Kiwis over the weekend about this issue, and many felt that we should stop the sale of these items in the wake of this attack,” said TradeMe CEO Jon Macdonald.

“We’ve listened to these sentiments and we’ve put this ban in place while we await clear direction from the government.”

New Zealand gun owners can continue to participate in voluntary amnesty until new gun laws are put down to the nation.

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