‘Gun buyback events on the way’ – cops

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With reports of some Queenstown gun owners driving as far as Balclutha to hand over their firearms, police are reminding them there will be local buyback events.

Queenstown Sergeant Chris Brooks says there will be events happening in Roxburgh, Ranfurly, Alexandra, Cromwell, Wanaka and Queenstown in November and December.

“We want to let people know they’re coming,” he says.

“There will be several dates and times, and opportunities to drop them in.”

Brooks says he’s heard of people travelling long distances to buyback events in other places, and he says people shouldn’t be in a rush when there are local events planned.

Firearms, including a Bushmaster rifle held by Constable Anderson Zhou (pictured) have been handed into Queenstown Police Station since the legislation change was announced in the wake of the two Christchurch mosque shootings.

But Brooks says police would prefer people waited until buyback events, rather than bringing them into the station.

One of those who travelled out of town was NZ Deerstalkers Association Southern Lakes president Jacques Olivier, who went to Balclutha.

As well as going to hand in his own firearms, he says he was also getting some first-hand experience to take back to members.

“I found the event really professional, the police were really good to deal with.”

While it was “sad” to have to give up the guns, Olivier says the event was positive and he ended up pocketing more money for the firearms than he expected.

– DAISY HUDSON