President Trump talked gun buybacks in a closed-door meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week, CBS News reports.
Ardern told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King that during the conversation, Trump was “interested” in how the country responded to the Christchurch tragedy in March with a sweeping ban on most semiautomatic firearms, all modern sporting rifles, and magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds.
“We had a policy discussion. He was interested in how it all worked, how it had been received,” explained Ardern.
However, she couldn’t tell whether Trump was actually considering doing something similar here in America.
“I got the impression he was interested,” she said. “I would be second guessing anything beyond that.”
Per the ban, known as the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Regulations 2019, owners of newly prohibited firearms and accessories have until December 20, 2019 to sell them “back” to the government. Failure to do so may result in jail time and/or fines.
The prime minister noted that citizens have turned over approximately 20,000 firearms and 70,000 parts. Authorities estimate that there are 1.2 million to 1.5 million firearms of any type in the country, as GunsAmerica previously reported.
Suppose that 20,000 figure doubles by the December deadline, the would mean that 40,000 firearms would be “returned,” or less than four percent of the firearms in circulation.
CBS co-host Tony Dokoupil asked whether the government was “punishing law-abiding citizens, while letting the criminals continue with their criminal activity?”
“No. I mean, certainly the perspective from those who have been a part of the buyback is as they see this as the right thing to do,” she said, later adding, “And for us, actually, there is just no rational reason to have these in circulation. We don’t even know how many we had. But the fact that we have 20,000 returned in our small country of less than five million people — that’s a big result for us.”
New Zealand isn’t done with gun control. The country is now moving to create a national registry of every firearm in the country and stiffen penalties for those found guilty of selling or transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person, NPR reports.
“Owning a firearm is a privilege not a right,” Ardern said Friday. “That means we need to do all we can to ensure that only honest, law-abiding citizens are able to obtain firearms licenses and use firearms.”
President Trump should know a thing or two about confiscatory gun schemes. After all, it was his administration last year that outlawed bump stocks, forcing owners to destroy them or turn them over to authorities by March 26, 2019, or else face a felony charge for unlawful possession of a machine gun.
All my bump stocks were lost in a tragic boating accident. I suspect many New Zealanders are having the same issue with their newly prohibited firearms and accessories.