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Jets, nukes & plasma rifles? New Zealand police flooded with fake gun surrender requests

Jets, nukes & plasma rifles? New Zealand police flooded with fake gun surrender requests
The harsh gun control measures introduced by New Zealand triggered a protest backlash, with pranksters flooding police with bogus applications to surrender unlikely weapons such plasma rifles, fighter jets and even nuclear bombs.

After New Zealand adopted a ban on military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles following the Christchurch mass shooting, the police set up a special telephone number and an online application form to facilitate the collection of the newly banned weapons. The measure turned out to be quite popular as the officers received 474 calls in less than a day and, on Friday, almost 130 calls in just one hour.

However, the online application form was also targeted by what some local media called a “digital protest” against the tighter restrictions on weapon possession.

Some pranksters reportedly even attempted to register old Soviet MiG 15 fighter jets and American B61 nuclear bombs as weapons they would like to hand over. Some with more devious minds also tried to submit non-existent, futuristic plasma rifles, among other things.

Others directly vented their anger at the new rules right in the comment sections below the submission form, by saying that the New Zealand government seeks to “steal people’s property.” The total number of online applications amounted to 1,000, according to the police statement. It is unclear though, how many of these fake requests had been filed by actual New Zealanders, before authorities decided to shut down the facility to submit the forms from overseas.

Also on rt.com NZ adopts harsh gun control measures after Christchurch massacre… to cheers & jeers in US

“Unfortunately, some people have decided it is a good use of their time to misuse the form and submit ‘fake’ notifications to hand in weapons,” Police Assistant Commissioner Tusha Penny wrote, in an angry statement. “While these individuals may be short of productive work to do, Police are not.”

Last week, a self-avowed white supremacist from Australia killed 50 people in two mosques in the city of Christchurch and injured almost as many, in what became the deadliest terrorist act in New Zealand’s modern history.

Less than a week later, to cheers of gun control advocates in the US and elsewhere, New Zealand banned all military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles, as well as high-capacity magazines and parts used to convert other weapons into the banned guns. The new regulations are expected to take effect by April 11. Those found in possession of the prohibited weapons after that date could face a fine up to NZ $4,000 ($2,751) or up to three years in prison.

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