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New Zealand gun crimes rise to highest in a decade despite strict gun bans

That wasn't supposed to happen

Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Gun crime rates and killings involving guns in New Zealand reached their highest level in a decade this year despite the country's strict gun control measures lauded by left-wing politicians in the United States.

The figures, obtained from police under the Official Information Act by news outlet RNZ, show that gun crime has increased in the country in 2018 and 2019:

Last year, there were 3540 occasions where an offender was found with a gun.

And in both of the last two years, the rate of deadly incidents involving a firearm was the highest it had been since 2009.

The number of guns seized by police is also on the rise, up almost 50 percent on five years earlier at 1263 last year.

An officer was attacked by someone wielding a gun 13 times in 2019, up two on 2018 but remaining steady over the past five years.

New Zealand earned praise from gun control advocates in the spring 2019 after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern banned all "military-style semi-automatic weapons" and "assault rifles" in the wake of a massacre of 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch.

As a part of the ban, the government implemented a gun buyback program allowing legal gun owners to surrender their firearms to the government for "fair and reasonable compensation."

Proponents of the ban assumed that it would result in fewer guns in the country, and thus, fewer gun crimes. But that evidently is not what has happened so far.

Commenting on the news, Tom Knighton, writing for the Second Amendment-supporting blog Bearing Arms, argued that New Zealand's weapons ban is further proof that "knee-jerk" reactions to take away citizens' guns doesn't lower gun crime.

"What's shocking ... isn't that [higher gun crime rates] happened. It's that this happened yet again and anti-gunners are still able to delude themselves into believing that gun control reduces gun crime. It doesn't," Knighton wrote. "While some of our gun controlled states have low crime, it has a low crime in spite of those laws, not because of them."

(H/T: Bearing Arms)

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