The weight of the terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand and the thought of what could happen if the weapon falls into the wrong hands has led John Hart to voluntarily turn his weapon, he said.
"I've had this weapon since it was made, I was glad it never hurt anyone," the 46-year-old told CNN. "Now I know it has never hurt anyone, so I have some assurance." On Friday, 50 people were killed in the nation on Friday, with relatively few firearms deaths. According to New Zealand officials, the shooter's weapons were two semi-automatic firearms and two shotguns.
Hart has been a gun holder for almost two decades, he said. He owns a 50 acre farm in Masterton, New Zealand, where he raises sheep and beef. He said he had thought a lot before making his decision, and ultimately felt "a little relieved."
He said he had bought the semi-automatic firearm to kill goats and wild boar and support the pest control farm on the island. Hart said he has other weapons on the farm for "chores and dying animals."
"For me the main reason was that these weapons are suitable for some types of tasks, but they are not the only way to get the job done," said Hart.
"In my view, the compromise between the Weapon convenience and abuse were not worth it, I think we should not have them in our country after our event, "he said. "It felt like it was absolutely logical to give mine away."
Turning his weapon was a simple, fast process, Hart said. He filled out a gun delivery form and told the police that he would bring the gun to the station.
"In the south of New Zealand, you can give up firearms without asking questions," Hart said. "With the terrorist attack, we have a heightened awareness, so I really did not want to go to the police station with a gun and armed guards."
He is not the only one who voluntarily gives up his weapon. Some gun owners in New Zealand turned to social media on Monday to post their stories of why they had given up their weapons.
Twitter user Blackstone announced on Monday a revised version of a weapon transfer form with the reason for returning as "doesn." I do not want it. "The gun owner refused to talk to the media, as posted on Twitter."
"Since hearing about the atrocity for the first time on Friday afternoon, I have reflected and held back my thoughts," Blackstone wrote on Twitter. Monday morning – this is one of the simplest decisions I've ever made. I've had a firearm for 31 years. "
A woman named Fey Hag also posted on Twitter that she was using her weapons to destroy the police, and she did not respond to CNN's request for an interview.
" As my husband died, his weapons were handed over to the family who had the required license, "she wrote." Daughter of Crack Shot Food Hunting Parents, I've been using guns since the age of 9. Today, I asked to hand over these weapons for destruction. "
Hart said he was" overwhelmed "by the feedback he received online after writing about giving up his gun, and many of the comments were positive, but there were quite a few gun owners who issued negative comments.
"I'm pretty confident we'll get a positive result from this," Hart said in response to New Zealand saying it would reform laws. "[Jacinda Ardern] has already committed to change the gun laws, and we need to see how that affects. "