So the amnesty and buy-back scheme ran until the 20 December 2019. We are nearly five months on and wanted to know where the Police were at with processing these newly prohibited arms.
Here is the delayed reply from Police:
I am writing to you in response to your request dated 1 March 2020.
You asked: How many previously known E category arms were there at the start of the buyback process?
How many were handed in at the buy back?
How many are currently under the new P system?
How many are additionally recorded in applications to come under the P system?
How many are not accounted for in the new P process?
By E category arms, I assume you mean how many military style semi-automatics (MSSAs) were registered on E endorsements. As at 31 March 2019, there were 12,331 MSSAs linked to E endorsements.
Additionally, just prior to Amnesty and Buyback, investigations teams reviewed all Police information to get a more complete picture of registered MSSAs (such as firearms that may have been on other endorsements), and the total number of MSSAs (not just E endorsements) was calculated to be 15,037.
It is not possible to tell how many of those specific firearms are now registered against the P endorsements because the term MSSA has been superseded by Prohibited Rifle and Prohibited Shotgun. However, not all Prohibited Rifles would have been MSSAs previously.
As at 15 April 2020, there are 226 Prohibited Rifles linked to the four P endorsement types.
Firearms are not linked to pending P endorsement applications until the endorsement is granted. Your question about how many firearms are recorded in pending applications is refused in accordance with section 18(g) of the Official Information Act 1982 as the information is not held.
Information about how many were handed in during Amnesty and Buyback is not available. At the conclusion of the Amnesty and Buyback programme, a full analysis will be undertaken and post review will be made publicly available.
Your question about how many firearms have been handed in is refused in accordance with section 18(d) of the Official Information Act 1982 as the information will soon be publicly available. For the same reason, it is not possible to say how many are ‘not accounted for’ in the new P Process.
There is preliminary information available on the Police website: https://www.police.govt.nz/advice-services/firearms-and-safety/firearm-law-changesprohibited-firearms/amnesty-and-buy-back
Where your questions were refused, you have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of these decisions.
For your information, Police has developed a process for proactive release of information, so the anonymised response to your request may be publicly released on the New Zealand Police website.
Mike McIlraith Acting Superintendent Arms Act Service Delivery Group