The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners is exploring legal action over the Government's gun buyback scheme over what it says are unfair prices.

And council spokeswoman Nicole McKee said that while the council is urging its 40,000-odd members to abide by the law, some have told her that they don't intend to hand in their now-illegal firearms.

"Some of the offered prices for higher-end firearms are well out of kilter. We're talking thousands of dollars," McKee said.

"It may get down to a point where we have to look at court action on behalf of our members, and that is something we will be looking at under advice from our lawyers."


This morning the Government released details of its gun buyback scheme, which covers more than 300 guns as well as high capacity magazines and other parts, but excludes business losses.

It follows the gun law reform in April that banned most military-style semi-automatics (MSSA) and associated components in response to the Christchurch terror attack that killed 51 people.

Focus Live: Government reveals details of gun buyback scheme

Police released an extensive list of guns, each with a price for poor condition (25 per cent of the base price), average condition (70 per cent of the base price), and new or near-new condition (95 per cent of the base price).

The list also includes gun parts - including magazines, silencers, open sights and custom triggers - with a different price setting: 70 per cent of the base price for new or used, and 25 per cent of the base price for poor condition.

Gun City owner David Tipple said the offered prices for the guns were about 25 per cent below what they should be, and the prices for the components were even worse.

"The component prices are horrible robbery."

Gun City owner David Tipple says he will encourage gun owners to comply with the Government buyback scheme because nobody wanted a black market. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Gun City owner David Tipple says he will encourage gun owners to comply with the Government buyback scheme because nobody wanted a black market. Photo / Mark Mitchell

But Tipple said he would encourage all gun owners with illegal firearms to hand them in.

"We want them to comply ... Arguing over 5 to 25 per cent, I think they're just being miserable.


"Let's get them paid quickly so we can get compliance. Nobody wants a black market."

He also planned to hand in any illegal guns and components that Gun City has. He had not done a stocktake, but expected to lose "tens of thousands" of dollars.

The scheme excludes business losses, but Tipple said that was "a fight for another day".

An owner of a firearm not covered by the police list can pay a $120 fee for a valuation, but McKee said the Government should cover that.

"The Government kept saying they weren't going to rip us off. They said they would pay full value. They're not, and 250,000 [firearms licence holders] are starting to feel ripped off.

"They're angry and they're frustrated."

Making matters worse was the fact that business losses or items such as a safe for securing guns were also not covered, McKee said.

"That is unfair. Businesses have operated legally, have purchased and invested legally, and they're not being fairly compensated.

"Why do we have to go through this when a foreign terrorist came into this country and committed a crime? The firearms owners are being made scapegoats."

Police Minister Stuart Nash said the scheme excluded business losses because it was about ensuring law-abiding citizens were not out of pocket, rather than allowing anyone to make a profit from being compensated.

Dealers can still cash in their existing stock of banned guns and parts, and there will be no cap on the number of items that can be compensated for.

Dealers will firstly have to show evidence that they tried to return stock to suppliers, and they will only be compensated for the cost of the guns, not the market value.

Act Party leader David Seymour said the prices on the police list were too low and risked creating a black market.

"The only way the Government will retrieve all newly-prohibited firearms, and keep the public safe, is if it offers owners reasonable compensation. It has failed to do that."

National Party police spokesman Chris Bishop also said firearms owners would not hand in their weapons if they had no confidence in the price list.

McKee said some members had told her that they did not intend to surrender their illegal firearms, but the council was encouraging people to follow the law and look for different avenues to air their grievances.

Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement announcing details of the firearms buy-back and amnesty. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement announcing details of the firearms buy-back and amnesty. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Meanwhile police are giving assurances that dozens of events to collect thousands of dangerous firearms will be safe and secure.

Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said today that safety had been given a sharper focus in the wake of an incident in a Palmerston North police station, where a man helped himself to 11 firearms because a door was left open.

Police are still yet to recover three of those guns.

The first collection event will be at Addington Raceway in Christchurch on July 13, which Clement said was a symbolic gesture to the city that had suffered the horrific terrorist attack on March 15.

"That's where the event happened and we want to go back to the community ... because they are still hurting," Clement said.

"Ultimately we hope to never again see the kind of attack we saw on March 15 in Christchurch."

A list of collection events - with dates and locations - will be available on the police website from June 24.

Clement said this was a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to round up these dangerous firearms, and police would make every effort to get to every part of the country to make collection as easy as possible for law-abiding people who, through no fault of their own, were now in possession of illegal items.

Dedicated police teams with access to firearms will be at each collection event to ensure safety, and most of the firearms will be disabled at each event and transported to an undisclosed location - not police stations - before they are shredded into scrap metal.

While police would prefer collection to happen at these events, they will also conduct bulk pick-ups for people with more than 10 firearms.

People will also be able to hand in firearms to selected gun stores that pass a good character test, or to police stations. These would be put on the police website in coming weeks.

An amnesty exists until December 20 for anyone with a military-style automatic firearm to hand it over to police, but gangs have already said they did not intend to do so.

Clement was realistic that the scheme was not going to see every illegal firearm in New Zealand handed in to police.

He said since the terror attack on March 15, about 700 guns had been handed in to police and two-thirds of those were amnesty firearms.

"That gives me a fair degree of confidence that people will do the right thing."

People with firearms or components to surrender to police should come to the events and bring with them their firearms licence (if applicable), photo identification, a bank account number, the online reference number (after visiting the police website), and all items cleared of all ammunition.

For more information, visit or call 0800 311 311.