A sign points towards a gun shop in Christchurch March 21, 2019. (WILLIAM WEST / AFP)
WELLINGTON — A burglar stole 11 guns from a police station in
New Zealand, some of which were surrendered to authorities in the aftermath of
the mass shooting in Christchurch, police said on Friday.
Eleven firearms which were in an exhibit storage area are currently unaccounted for
Sarah Stewart, acting Central District Commander Inspector
Police are looking for the suspect, who escaped after he was spotted by
an officer in the station yard in Palmerston North, acity on North Island. His
get away vehicle was recovered later.
"Eleven firearms which were in an exhibit storage area are currently unaccounted for," acting Central District Commander Inspector Sarah Stewart said in a statement on the Thursday's robbery.
"I should be clear that these were not police firearms, but were a
range of weapons being held as exhibits or handed in for destruction. I am very
concerned about what has occurred — it is absolutely unacceptable,” Stewart
Gun owners across New Zealand are handing their guns to the police
after the government passed tough new firearm laws banning semi-automatic
military style firearms and other accessories, in the wake of the country's worst
peace time mass shooting in Christchurch in which 50 people were killed.
People have until Sept 30 to surrender the guns at local police
stations, but thousands of guns have already been received.
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