In the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings which left 50 people dead, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern encouraged the country’s gun owners to surrender their weapons.
As of March 19, New Zealand police reported that 37 guns had been surrendered. There are about 1.2 million firearms registered to civilians in New Zealand, according to the 2017 Small Arms Survey.
“To make our community safer, the time to act is now,” Ardern said. “I want to remind people, you can surrender your gun to the police at any time. In fact I have seen reports that people are in fact already doing this. I applaud that effort, and if you are thinking about surrendering your weapon, I would encourage you to do so.”
John Hart, a farmer and Green Party member from Wairarapa, tweeted that he surrendered his semiautomatic rifle two days after the attack: “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 make sure it’s #NeverAgain”.