Customers are telling a Whanganui store owner they will not be handing their semi-automatic guns over in Government's buyback scheme.

"They reckon it stinks," the owner said.

Details of the scheme were released on June 20. It aims to compensate people giving up more than 300 types of gun and gun part banned after the March 15 mosque shootings in Christchurch. The owners have an amnesty on the weapons until December 20, but are expected to fill in online forms and eventually hand the weapons over to police.

The store owner, who asked not to be identified, anticipates civil disobedience and predicts "court case, after court case, after court case" by people appealing the prices being offered in the buyback.


The April 12 law change has made "honest people into criminals", he said, while dishonest people would ignore the ban. And rarity would increase the value of their illegal weapons.

The store owner said the law change was dividing families and deepening the rural-urban divide.

The Government is offering 95 per cent of the cost for new and as-new weapons, and progressively less if they are in poor condition.

Banned gun parts must also be handed in, with 70 per cent of their value the top price paid. People without gun licences can be compensated for those.

People who can prove they have a legitimate use for a gun magazine holding more than five rounds will be given up to $300 to change to a magazine of five rounds or less.

The $300 will be enough to modify most, the local store owner said, but other gun-owners will be seriously out of pocket - "The majority are quite frankly going to get screwed."

Government has $190 million to use in compensation, and $18m to pay for the collection process.

The Chronicle understands a Whanganui gun collection is planned to be held at the racecourse during the last weekend in July. Details should soon be on the police website.
The guns will be disabled at the collection points, then taken away and shredded for scrap metal.


Only those with gun licences will be compensated for their weapons.

Federated Farmers supports the ban, provided it will allow farmers to own the most humane and effective weapons to deal with sick or injured stock and pest animals.

Wanganui provincial president Mike Cranstone said people establishing new forests need semi-automatic rifles to kill goats, and farmers need a semi-automatic shotgun with a magazine of reasonable capacity to kill geese that decimate their food crops.

Farmers say they need rapid-fire weapons to control goats and geese. Photo / Getty Images
Farmers say they need rapid-fire weapons to control goats and geese. Photo / Getty Images

About 20 per cent of farmers will have the banned weapons, and will need to replace those they hand in with firearms of similar capability.

Cranstone says it's important the buyback prices are fair.

"They can't do this thing on the cheap. If they don't pay a fair price for the guns they're not going to get the guns in."

He's hoping the collection will be made easy for farmers, many of whom don't go to town much.

Five weapons handed in

Between March 15 and May 4 five people in the Whanganui policing area (including Ruapehu and Rangitīkei districts, and Waverley) handed over five firearms - four rifles and one shotgun - police said in answer to an Official Information Act request by the Chronicle.

Across the region 153 people have gun licence endorsements that allow them to own military style semi-automatic guns, and 100 of those people have at least one of them - now under amnesty.

There are also another 73 people who legally own at least one pistol, and 58 collectors endorsed to own items like automatic rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers.

Nationwide, 700 guns have been handed in since March 15, and 4815 registered online and declared for eventual surrender.