There are just 50 days left until the firearms amnesty and buyback deadline - and police have issued a public warning that those who do not make the cut-off will feel the full force of the law.

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 in the aftermath of the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch.

As of today there are just 50 days left until the amnesty ends.

READ MORE:
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Police have a very clear message to those still holding on to now-illegal guns and parts.

"If you think you still have plenty of time to hand in your prohibited firearms, think again," said Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement.

Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement. Photo / Mark Mitchell

"There will be no extension so if you want compensation for your firearms, to keep your licence and don't want to be prosecuted, hand in your firearms now."

"Everyone with a prohibited firearm or part needs to hand them in or they will be breaking the law after the amnesty ends on 20 December 2019."

Clement said he had a question for those stalling.

"What are you waiting for?" he posed.

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

"I'd have to say to all the gun clubs and firearms enthusiasts out there, surely this is not what you want – to be unable to enjoy hunting or the hobby you enjoy ever again?"

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Clement said firearm holders have had multiple opportunities across the country to hand in their prohibited items since the programme started on June 20.

So far, just over 32,000 firearms have been handed in.

"The vast majority of firearms owners understand why we are doing this," Clement said.

"To those that have taken part, I say thank you.

"To those that have yet to do so, the time is now and you have a number of options so there are no excuses."

There are just 50 days left of the national gun buyback scheme and police are warning no leniency will be given to those who don't hand in prohibited firearms. Photo / File
There are just 50 days left of the national gun buyback scheme and police are warning no leniency will be given to those who don't hand in prohibited firearms. Photo / File

Clement said there were a number of options for handing in prohibited items "as soon as possible".

"Drop into one of the 41 approved dealers," he said.

"If you want to hold on to your firearm for sentimental reasons and it can be modified, get this in train now.

"Apply for an endorsement licence if you are a pest controller/collector now.

"If you think you have a unique/rare item – apply now.

"I want to be very clear though. On 21 December, whether you are a licensed firearm holder or a gang member, if you are unlawfully and without authority in possession of a prohibited firearm you will be committing a criminal offence.

"Failing to comply with the law is not the action of a law-abiding licensed firearms holder.

"Please do the right thing."

Earlier this month Police Minister Stuart Nash also ruled out extending the amnesty.

"I can state absolutely for the record, there will be no extension or no exceptions," he said at the annual Police Association conference.

Nash told the conference he had heard stories about some people who have not handed in their guns because "misguided people" were telling them not to do so.

Police Minister Stuart Nash. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Police Minister Stuart Nash. Photo / Mark Mitchell

"There are false stories out there which are suggesting that he is going to change his mind or extend the buyback or change the pricing," he said.

"Well, I can tell you that I am not going to extend the buyback or change the pricing or change my mind.

"If people haven't handed in their banned firearms by the 20th of December, they will get no money and they will face up to five years in jail if we find them."

The number of prohibited firearms is unknown, but estimates range from as low as 56,000 to 250,000.

There are about 14,000 that have been registered under E-Cat firearms licences.

At last count, Nash said there have been about 30,000 prohibited weapons have been handed over to police, and $56 million had been paid out.

"That's 30,000 weapons designed to kill people – not deer or goats or possums or rabbits."

He added that more than 100,000 prohibited parts, such as high-capacity magazines have been handed to police.

HAVE YOU GOT GUNS YOU NEED TO HAND IN?

For more information on the collection events, modification and other options available to you or to seek help with the process please go to www.police.govt.nz or call 0800 311 311.