Hawzah News Agency -More than 160 New Zealand gun owners have traded their weapons for cash, as part of a government buyback scheme enacted after the Christchurch massacre.
Dozens of New Zealanders handed in their firearms as a gun buyback scheme went into operation aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks.
The first of more than 250 collections to be held nationwide was in Christchurch, where 51 Muslim worshippers were gunned down while at prayer less than four months ago.
The government, with support from opposition parties, immediately rushed through legislation to tighten New Zealand's gun laws.
Police Minister Stuart Nash said the objective was to "remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation".
With armed police monitoring the handover, 169 firearms owners handed in 224 weapons and 217 parts and accessories. They were then crushed in hydraulic presses.
Police fork out thousands in compensation
More than NZ$433,600 ($290,300) was paid out to gun owners in exchange for their weapons.
Regional police commander Mike Johnson said 903 residents in the Canterbury region, which includes Christchurch, had registered 1,415 firearms to be handed in.
"Police recognise that this is a big change for the law-abiding firearms community and we are hearing really positive feedback from people as they come through today that they are finding the process works well for them," Johnson said.
"Canterbury firearms owners' attitude towards this process has been outstanding."
Penalties for gun-owners who ignore amnesty
Licenced firearms owners have six months to surrender weapons that have now been deemed illegal under the scheme, with an amnesty ensuring they will not face prosecution during that period.
After the amnesty expires, possession of a prohibited firearm will be punishable by up to five years in jail.