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NZ farmer surrenders guns after mosque attack

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:32s - Published < > Embed
NZ farmer surrenders guns after mosque attack

NZ farmer surrenders guns after mosque attack

New Zealand farmer John Hart has owned semi-automatic rifles for at least 10 years, but following the mass shooting in Christchurch last Friday (March 15) that left 50 dead, he has surrendered his weapons to the local authorities, he said in a video provided to Reuters on Tuesday.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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NZ farmer surrenders guns after mosque attack

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FARMER JOHN HART, SAYING: "For me the utility or convenience of a semi-automatic rifle weighed up against the possibility of another tragedy like we've witnessed in New Zealand - is really not a difficult comparison at all.

It's really not worth the risk to my mind." New Zealand farmer John Hart has decided to give up his guns in light of the Christchurch mosque shooting that left 50 people dead.

On Sunday (March 17), he tweeted this photograph of his surrender form, using the hashtag ''Never Again'' - which has since been widely circulated on social media.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FARMER JOHN HART, SAYING: ''I was really just living my values, I couldn't in all conscience keep my semi-automatic rifle once I knew how I felt about them in the country and so it just seem like the right thing to do….

I hadn't intended to start this as a campaign, but we'll have to see where it goes because it seems a lot of people all around are feeling the same way." While people like Hart have reacted to the shooting by surrendering their guns, others have been buying more to beat an impending ban on semi-automatic weapons, which New Zealand's prime minister could announce next week: (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ARDERN, SAYING: "What I can assure you is, our gun laws will change" Violent crime is rare in New Zealand and police do not usually carry guns - although the country of only 5 million people has an estimated 1.5 million firearms. Meanwhile, on Tuesday (March 19), a gun club burnt down in the northern town of Kaitaia.

Police are treating the blaze as suspicious.




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