Flintlock pistol sparks hunt

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Queenstown cops are investigating after a person was spotted pointing a firearm out of a car window in the resort.

Police were contacted about the incident at 11.30am on Monday, after a passenger in a car driving around Queenstown was seen with a firearm.

Sergeant Steve Watt says police have been sent a photo of the car, and the firearm appeared to be a flintlock pistol.

“We’re making enquiries to ascertain who the passenger was,” he says.

The incident comes amid heightened tension over firearms following the Christchurch terror attack, and a proposed crackdown on gun ownership.

Watt says “a couple of people” have already handed in their guns to Queenstown police.

Six days after the mosque shootings in Christchurch, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced legislation would be introduced to ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles, and that there would be an amnesty and buyback of weapons.

Watt says there are “a number” of people with E-category-endorsed firearms licences living in the Queenstown area.

An E-category licence was needed to own military-style semi-automatic weapons.

Police are asking people who need to surrender firearms to contact them via the NZ Police website, so police can collect them.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz