Under 1,000 Of The Estimated 1.5 Million NZ Guns Turned In

It's estimated that there are about 1.5 million guns floating around in the previously gun friendly New Zealand. The recent attacks on mosques in Christchurch brought about an intense round of buy backs, a move that was heavily lauded by American anti-gun politicians.

However, something that may not have been thought through by the NZ government before their knee jerk reaction banning guns, is that as of this writing not even 800 guns have been turned in.

In other words, a vast majority of New Zealand's citizens are not compliant in the gun buy back. This leaves many to be criminals. Tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of Kiwis went to bed one night as normal citizens and woke up the next day as criminals.

I guess the saying is true: Once guns are banned, only criminals will have them.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm glad NZ is largely non-compliant here. It brings me hope that maybe our government will see this, knowing that there are hundreds of millions of guns in circulation and American citizens will never give up their firearms.

But, there is something else going on here–something that needs to be spoken about. The New Zealand gun owning population is described as an older generation. This means that they may only be one generation away from removing most of those guns, regardless.

Then, surely, only the criminals-at-heart will have them. At some point, those gun owners will die and those who inherit them will turn them in. That is just a byproduct of not being able to shoot said guns.

Because, yes they still own the guns. But, they cannot do anything with them. Sure, they can protect themselves but will go to prison for doing so. After all, that firearm is now illegal.

They also cannot practice with their newly illegal firearms, because where can they do so without prying eyes?

This makes the number of things one can do with a gun very limited.

Then of course, there is the above spoken about byproduct that the younger generations will not understand the value of owning a firearm because they're unable to grow up shooting them.

So at some point, unless something else is done, all they're doing is buying time. What the Kiwis do with that time is all important. There are only a couple options as I see it.

They can wait out the storm to see if these guns will be made legal again, but something like that very rarely happens unless it's actively pursued–which it won't be because the government will start to learn who hasn't turned in their guns yet.

Or they can stay the current course not turning guns in, waiting for them to die a slow, horrible death where the following generations will not have firearms for protection.

Lastly, and less likely, they fight for their rights. I say “less likely” like that because this current generation of people in all first world countries don't seem willing to give up temporary comfort for lasting freedom.

We live in the age of Netflix and Chill. Most would rather not disrupt their comfort for a little freedom. Time will tell, but I hope they choose to send a clear message … one that our anti-gun politicians may learn from. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. Daniel on July 10, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Our NZ and AU fellow gun owners have much in common with we here in the US when it come to gun ownership and gun registration/turn in’s. To do so is to leave the citizenry vulnerable to the dictates of illegal/unlawful political posturings for controlling the populations their elected officials were sworn to protect: not subjugate. Then too, their is the ever present threat from their respective criminal elements. Be sure that threatening elements are not, will not and can not be made to surrender their armament. “A well armed citizenry” is the only answer to the those who would seek to harm and control the honest citizens in any country.

  2. Silver Fox on July 10, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    English speaking people better hold on to what you got and teach your children while you can because non-English speaking people are taking your country and your children’s future by invasion and knives.?

  3. George L. Bickmore on July 10, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    I believe that Joshua is completely on point. There is not much else to say as I have run into the attitude he describes many times her in the US..In America there is either No reaction or Over-reaction. It seems our ability to foresee or anticipate the future has been clouded by selfish comfort. I fear for my grandchildren’s freedom, without bloodshed.

  4. Steph on July 10, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    I was raised by extreme anti-gun liberal baby boomer parents.

    I was told they were evil. That people who have them were crazy I never touched a gun until I was 53 years old. But I have taught my children that guns are good. That the scenario you described in New Zealand is wrong.

    And both my children understand why they need their Second Amendment rights. I now own a handgun and practice with but I have taught my children that guns are a means of protection.

    We have talked extensively about history. They know that taking people’s guns away was a strategy by which the Nazis took control over the population in Germany before World War II. They know that the government wants to make them powerless. And they will not go gently.

    And both my children understand why they need their Second Amendment rights. I now own a handgun and practice with it. I plan on taking my kids to the gun range and teaching them to shoot. That is as soon as I figure out how to hit the target!

    So please realize that the next generation of kids really are not going to be taken in by the fake news.

  5. Ice Bonner on July 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I worked in NZ for a year and a half and what a beautiful country. I’m from NY but told most there I was from Canada as they do not think much of yanks. Super liberals, they are lead around like the many sheep they used to have. They rely on the USA to protect them but blame the USA for all the misdeeds. High taxes, lack of good manufacturing jobs, importing used cars from Japan by the boat load only to be stuck with all their used tires and many autos that had been in the flood..] Their leader are like sheep herders and the people like sheep. If invaded the politicians think they will fend off the enemy with computers and cell phones What a waste of a beautiful country.

    • Larry D Price on July 19, 2019 at 6:47 am

      God bless you and others like you. I’m about to turn 70 in September, and I was raised around guns all my life. People in my age group were taught early on about gun safety. We also spent years in school learning the History of America. We know what it took to gain all we have here, and we sure aren’t giving it up without one major fight. I’m very patriotic and so is my wife of 46 years. She often says that there’s nothing more beautiful to her than to see a big American flag flying high. I served 4 years in the U.S. Navy after high school, 1968-1972, and I’m proud to have done my little part for my country. Thank you again for being a true American.

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