Gang members have been among those handing over illegal firearms to Northland police as part of the amnesty and buyback events.

While police could not say how many firearms had been handed in by gang members as part of the amnesty it was encouraging.

Acting Senior Sergeant Ryan Gray said they had not been to the public events but had contacted police and used an intermediary to hand over the firearms.

"Because it's an amnesty there is no investigation and that's the end of it."


A six-month amnesty and buyback scheme was put in place after gun law reforms - supported by all parties but Act - banned most military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) firearms after the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch.

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With the deadline looming gun owners were lining up to hand over their firearms at the latest amnesty and buyback events in Whangarei and Hikurangi this week.

Police have said there will be no extension and anyone with a prohibited firearm or part should attend an amnesty event if they wanted compensation before the December 20 deadline.

Anyone caught with illegal firearms and parts after the deadline could be prosecuted and face a penalty of up to five years' jail.

In Whangarei officers at the collection at Barge Park on Tuesday were kept busy with 78 gun owners handing over 128 firearms, along with 346 parts.

In Northland, as at November 4, a total of 1163 people had handed in 2238 firearms and 6482 parts at the collection events.

Gray was pleased with the response from Northlanders and encouraged those who still wanted to hand over firearms to do so sooner rather than later because there were only eight more events.


"It's beneficial to do this earlier rather than later. People should go online and register their intention and if they are not sure just give us a call if you're unsure."

Beef farmer Bryan Robertson was at Barge Park handing over his bolt action .22 that did not meet legal specifications because it held 15 bullets.

The gun he had had for 30 years was used for possum and rabbit shooting and to euthanise stock when needed.

He considered getting it modified but the cost was $300 and he was paid $245 compensation. It would cost him $800 to buy a replacement that was legal.

Robertson said he was a law-abiding citizen and through not fault of his own he was forced to hand over his firearm.

Rod, who did not want his last name used for security reasons, handed over eight firearms.

"They're paying reasonable prices and the whole process is pretty easy. But it's a bit unfair really, I'm a law-abiding person and through the actions of someone who wasn't I'm being forced to hand over my guns."

However, Rod said there was really only one choice and he was not prepared to put his gun licence in jeopardy.

Nationally police were warning people not to risk hanging on to illegal firearms.

"Everyone with a prohibited firearm or part needs to hand them in or they will be breaking the law after the amnesty ends," Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said.

"Anyone prosecuted will lose their firearms licence and face a penalty of up to five years' imprisonment."

The way it works
• Complete the online notification form.
• Before coming to a collection event clear firearms of all ammunition and place firearms and parts in a safe carry bag, such as a firearms bag, or a nondescript cover.
• Take with you online notification reference number, firearms licence (if applicable), bank account number, photo identification — drivers licence or passport.

Northland collection events all running from 3pm-8pm
• November 19, Waipu Rugby Club, St Marys Rd, Waipu
• November 20, Kaikohe Rugby Club, Penny Cres, Kaikohe
• November 26, Onerahi Bowling Club, 35 Alamien Ave, Onerahi
• November 27, RSA, 18 Matthews Ave, Kaitaia
• December 3, Dargaville Rugby Club, Murdoch St, Dargaville
• December 4, St John, 357 Kerikeri Rd, Kerikeri
• December 10, RSA, 18 Matthews Ave, Kaitaia
• December 11, Hikurangi Bowling Club, 11 Park St, Hikurangi
For more information, go to or phone 0800 311 311.