New Zealand’s Failed ‘Buyback’: Don’t Believe All the Numbers You’re Seeing

New Zealand Police

The final numbers for the New Zealand “buyback” confiscation are now available. We’ll begin by taking them at face value. As of December 21, 2019 (the day after the “buyback” ended), they claim:

  • Collected: 51,342 newly banned firearms.
  • Modified to comply: 2,717
  • Total: 54,059

That’s 22.5% compliance based on the previous estimate of 240,000 affected (newly banned) firearms.

Now we have an official number for Cat-E Military-Style Semi-Automatics: 15,037. That’s an interesting figure because the previous estimate was 14,500. Why they had to estimate the number of registered firearms was always a mystery.

My guess is that some folks turned in registered Cat-Es of which the government had lost track, suggesting their registry is in no better shape than the US National Firearms Registration and Transfer Records (NFRTR). There are going to be a lot of Cat-Es they don’t know about; far more than the 1,228 they have documented.

There were 9,532 MSSAs turned in. Supposedly another 4,277 are “in progress.” That seems dubious, but even so, they didn’t make the deadline.

Another 1,228 MSSAs are unaccounted-for, scheduled for “follow up,” or 8.2% outright noncompliance. In actuality, it’s 36.2% noncompliance — that they know of.

Now let’s examine those numbers a little more closely. First, some monthly trends:

  • September: 24,073 total; average 8,024/month (3 months)
  • October: 8,586 turned in. 32,659 total; average 8,165/month (4 months)
  • November: 4,677 turned in. 37,336 total; average 7,467/month (5 months)
  • December 12: 6,186 turned in. 43,522 total; average 7,689/month (5.7 months)

On December 12th, they were on track to slightly improve the number of turn-ins, but compliance was only 19% based on the 240,000 affected firearms estimate.

Between December 12th and the 21st, the government abruptly lowered the estimate to as few as 50,000.

And then they released the final numbers:

  • December 12 to 21 alone: 7,820; average 23,697/month (0.33 month)
  • December: 14,006 turned in. 51,342 total; average: 8,557/month

They’ve somehow managed to increase turn-ins to meet the new lower estimate, and Police Minister Nash says, “I believe we’ve got the majority of these guns in.”

But the money doesn’t add up. Nine days before the end, the New Zealand Police claimed to have accounted for 43,522 firearms at an average, per firearm, program cost of NZ$2,056.51. In nine days, they suddenly account for 51,342, at an average cost of NZ$1,990.55. Turn-ins rose, per gun payout dropped.

12/12/2019

  • Collected: 43,522
  • Paid: 41,392
  • Program cost: NZ$89,503,303
  • The per gun averages are NZ$2,162.33 (paid), and NZ$2,056.51 (overall collected)

12/21/2019 (nine days later)

  • Collected: 51,342
  • They no longer say how many were paid for.
  • Program cost: NZ$102,198,651
  • Per gun average: NZ$1,990.55 (overall collected)

The difference between 12/12 and 12/21 is:

  • Collected: 7,820
  • Program cost: NZ$12,695,348
  • Per gun average: NZ$1623.45 (overall collected)

That’s an odd and extreme drop in per gun average. Either 7,820 beaters suddenly got turned in during the final nine days (remarkable, considering the monthly average was only 8,557), or the NZ Police invented a bunch of beaters to punch up their compliance numbers.

The former seems unlikely; if someone was going to turn in beat-up, low value guns, they could have done that any time. Last minute turn-ins would more probably be higher value firearms that the owners were reluctant to surrender.

At the previous per-firearm average of NZ$2,056.51 I would guess the NZ$12,695,348 actually represents no more than 6,173 firearms, leaving 1,647 unaccounted for. But that would bring the “buyback” total to 49695, which is still short of the 50,000 what the government needed to claim victory.

That mystery 1,647 — the difference between NZP’s claim and my calculation –abruptly boosts the turn-in numbers from 49708 to comfortably over the lower end of their shiny new “official” estimate of 50,000-170,000, so they can choose to believe announce they succeeded in gathering up all those nasty guns.

Frankly, since 3,026 of those alleged 7,820 firearms were Cat-E MSSAs, I would have expected the average payout to increase above the NZ$2,056.51 average, not drop to NZ$1,275.91. Through December 12th, MSSAs accounted for 14.6% of turn-ins. In the final nine days, MSSAs were 38.7% of turn-ins. More expensive MSSAs, less money paid. So I doubt they got even the 6,173.

Or the numbers are legitimate and there was a last minute rush of low or unpaid junkers. It seems unlikely.

A total of 33,619 people played their game, and turned in firearms. Thanks to the confiscation database breach, we learned that 38,000 people had registered to do so.

That means 11.5% of those who even signed up did not comply in the end, but we’re to believe there was a last minute rush to comply?

I have a little trouble believing that so many folks waited until the last minute to turn in beater guns. If that were the case, I would expect the final number of hand-ins to be over 38,000, not lower.

It looks more like the New Zealand Police inflated the firearm numbers to make compliance look better, coupled with the new estimate for what constitutes “success.”

I think we’ve found some real “ghost guns.”

comments

  1. avatar M1Lou says:

    They still win in the end. Any guns not turned in can’t be seen or used in public. The current owners will eventually die and these guns will most likely end up getting turned in. The next generation will either gladly do it, or not want to chance a trip to prison. With the ever growing police western states, it will be harder to hide the banned weapons. They will have effectively killed the gun culture that buys these kind of weapons. They will prosecute a few OFWGs good and hard to make an example of them to create fear. They will of course be absolutely no danger to anyone, and were probably upstanding people in society. Because guns they get to pick up the powdered soap in jail.

    1. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

      The state has been winning for ten thousand years, absent a few small cases where they suffered very temporary reversals such as the American Revolution. Remember that habeus corpus was suspended within ten years of the Constitution being signed.

      It’s only going to get worse because that is the nature of the state – to get worse.

      Expect what happened in New Zealand and Australia to happen here – with the same outcome, except the non-compliance will be bigger. Any violence the non-compliance leads to will be broken harshly with the support of the majority of the sheep.

      Don’t expect any “militias” to change the outcome. This isn’t the Nineteenth Century when militias could still cause significant trouble for the state. Read the book “To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant’s Face” by Robert H. Churchill, which details the history of the US militia including some of today’s militias as well as an interesting analysis of the creation of the Second Amendment.

      Bottom line: If you own a firearm, at some point you will have to decide whether to become a criminal. Start thinking about how you want to handle that risk.

      1. avatar Hannibal and the Elephants says:

        Correct on all counts. People must keep in mind that at the time the Constitution became law, some people with wooden sailboats, a cannon and a letter of marque were the major forces keeping European superpowers (first GB then in the Quasi War France) at bay. Those rules don’t apply today with the improvement in modern military weapon systems versus what is available to an impromptu militia. When the underdogs win today they have a determination and will to succeed at all costs, arrest, torture, death, murder of family, etc., and outside clandestine military aide from a foreign nation with vested interest. I see none of these here. Few are willing to really take these risks and I see no foreign government moving in with financial and military assistance.

        1. avatar Joseph says:

          Well if you give up before the fight even starts, you will damn sure win. Hope you are not a state near me.

      2. avatar Mercury says:

        I disagree. Even a few thousand insurrectionists acting at once (not necessarily coordinates) could cause massive public disorder through disruption of infrastructure. There are barely enough US military personnel globally to guard the bases on US soil, let alone power, water and fuel refining and distribution infrastructure. These saboteurs are the “domestic lone wolf terrorists” the government has issued so many warnings about. Americans who are fed up enough to try and cause harm to the credibility of the government by targeting infrastructure where they can’t hope to defend it. We already see several of these attacks per year, though they usually cause little damage in the event they aren’t foiled entirely. But that’s just a few people a year to stop. A ban on semiautomatics would quite the motivator for a significant segment of the population already on the edge.

        I think thats enough said about that, lest we really do end up on a list.

        1. avatar Mercury says:

          Coordinated, not coordinates. I’m a typo machine tonight, apparently.

  2. avatar Dennis says:

    But, but, but…. that would mean the government lied!

  3. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

    Looks like the NZ government has invented a Turn In Fairy to compete with the Tooth Fairy. Of course, Socialists believe all kinds of fairy tales, but I suspect reality is eventually going to smack these idiots hard in the face.

  4. avatar Chicken Wing says:

    Convenient success for the mosque shooter. Maybe that’s why they wanted to hide his writing. Don’t remember if he only wanted to help gun control in the US or in NZ too.

    1. avatar Mercury says:

      Tarrant wrote in his manifesto that he aimed to bring about a revolution in the United States by causing mass gun confiscation. How exactly he intended to cause that by shooting up a mosque in New Zealand I couldn’t quite piece together. Perhaps one simply has to be a madman to understand why one goes on a killing spree.

      1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

        Gun grabbers in the U.S.A. have used the Christchurch massacre as a reason for advocating civilian disarmament. No, he wasn’t crazy.

      2. avatar An AK in AK says:

        I believe the reasoning behind Tarrant’s actions were to make things worse in the US, so that a revolution could start in response to gun-grabbing tyranny and a 2nd revolution would take place and hopefully fix all the problems in this country today.

        Like it is said you have to hit rock bottom before you can start to look up, or something like that, i believe was his motivation for his actions.

  5. avatar Red says:

    Why should I care? I don’t live in New Zealand. Totally different culture. Do not care what happens THERE.

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Thanks Red. I said the same thing the other day. If it doesn’t concern our national security; why do I care about what happens in another hemisphere that I’ll never visit? I have a friend who went to New Zealand once. Hunted red stag. I asked Lance, “What do you think about all that?” He said, “I don’t care. I’m never going back.”

      1. avatar RCC says:

        Garsden
        Unfortunately Australia and NZ are both examples of going from no licences or regIstration to full government control almost overnight.

        No NRA equivalent as none needed to fight the government until it was too late. No second amendment as both countries settled by England well after 1776 and the authorities “learned” from that.

        As mentioned by others lots of politicians dream of gun grabs well beyond what Australia did.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          RCC, I hear you. The fact of the matter is that what happened in New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain or anywhere else on the globe has nothing to do with firearms rights/regulation within the borders of the United States of America. So again, since their gun laws don’t mean a thing to us and ours don’t mean a thing to them. I ask. Why should I give a shit what they do? Or, them us?

        2. avatar Hannibal and the Elephants says:

          They don’t mean anything to you but they mean the world to those who would subjugate us. These countries are the template for what they want to force upon us. The Demoncraps and other anti2A are sure the the potential voting public (keep in mind what a local Demoncrap group reminded me of this morning, Millennials and younger are projected to make up more than 40% of the eligible voters in my section of Socialist Soviet “Republic” of Florida, I know the contagion has not reached your section, but the disease spreads) will be sufficiently ignorant of the difference and not understand why having our Constitution versus whatever those other countries have is why what is happening in those places should be irrelevant to us. I work with children and young adults and see how they are being indoctrinated.

    2. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

      You should care because the gun grabbers HERE are using New Zealand as a model. I just read an article on apple news last night (quartz? I think?) crowing about how successful the confiscation was and chastising Americans for not having it in the U.S. yet.

      They can suck it. Buyback my high point carbine 995 starts at $1000 and prices go up from there.

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Cooter, We’re their model. We’re just had the second amendment in their way here. Everything you’ve seen elsewhere has been tried here first. Forget what they’re doing elsewhere. It’s a waste of ink and energy. Worry about us.

        1. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

          I am worried about the US but you and I are going to have to agree to disagree on the importance and relevance of NZ and the rest of the world.

          As far as I am aware, we’ve not had a mandatory “buy back” here in the US at the federal or state level so I’m not seeing how NZ used America for a model.

          When I’m preparing to battle an ideological enemy, it is useful to me to see what strategies they have employed in previous battles so I can more effectively fight them. Authoritarians under the banner of liberalism have used and will use the same tactics over and over again worldwide and I want to counter it here.

          When they ask, “Why are you opposed to gun registration? No one is coming for your guns.” I can now explain what happened in NZ when semi automatic weapon owners had to have a special license and why it is rational on my part to fear the same thing would happen here with a registration.

          Not that most will agree or even listen, but at least it is a fact based argument that is better than belligerently telling them what to do with their registration.

        2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Cooter, quote New Zealand law, or any other country’s, in a U.S. court and see how far it gets you. No one gives a shit how they do things over there. The other side might point to those countries; but so what? Name one proposed bill where the justification was based on a law in another country. Let’s worry about us.

    3. I keep looking around the site, and I still can’t find anything that says “The Truth About UNITED STATES Guns ONLY.” Human rights are human rights.

      And the US doesn’t exist in pristine isolation. What happens elsewhere can affect the US. As has been mentioned, this NZ confiscation has been pushed as a model for the US… by Presidential candidates, as well as Representatives and Senators.

      To counter that, I think it’s worth pointing out that even NZ, with a different culture and zero recognition of a right to bear arms, still can’t get compliance.

      If you disagree, well… no one is forcing you to read my columns. Just move on to something that interests you.

      1. avatar Chicken Wing says:

        Let’s also not forget that the incident in NZ that moved NZ authorities to outlaw ARs and create this buyback was designed to influence gun politics in the US. The shooter said it explicitly. It may not have worked here but I think it matters that they’re trying.

  6. avatar James says:

    A lot of guns across the world are held illegally and only taken out when needed to do a job. The cops in NZ are routinely patrolling with Ar15 so people will get inspired to have the same or better.So I don’t know how the gun culture is being killed off.

  7. avatar Sisted Twister says:

    Or, the glass is half empty, in that 25% of NZ gun owners willingly handed over their guns to the govt.

    Remaining guns will be confiscated over many years thru attrition. Bloodless win for the NZ govt, and when the US gets its next Democrack President, they will look to the “New Zealand Model” for inspiration.

    Tarrants plan to provoke gun confiscation worked flawlessly. Antifa/FBI types could concoct another Vegas type event in their quest for accelerationism. That one netted the bumpstocks, they are still determined to get the AR15s.

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