Dozens protest gun buyback events

Gun owners around the country have held protests outside four police buyback events.

Fifty people holding placards stood opposite Christchurch collection events on Saturday, resisting the Government's firearms law reforms, saying licensed gun owners are being unfairly penalised.

"The Government made a mistake and gave a terrorist a gun, it's not our fault," one protester told Reuters.

"What they are trying to do with trying to get New Zealand safer, none of those guns are being handed in. They are all being held by criminals who are completely ignoring the law, of course," said another.

"It's a piece of metal at the end of the day, it's the person behind it that's the problem and we are not the problem," added a third.

Another event in Henderson, west Auckland, reportedly attracted about 100 people. 

Before the protests, one organiser had said they had 150,000 in their "audience". 

More than 40,000 weapons have been handed in so far, with the Government paying out $75 million.

Gun owners have until December 20 to hand in prohibited firearms. Police Minister Stuart Nash has said there will be no leniency for those who fail to do so.

One protester told Stuff the buyback was a "desecration of New Zealand history".

"These are guns that were never on the streets," said competitive shooter Victoria O'Brien. "These were guns that were put in safes in people's homes, well locked away, treasured items that had a lot of history, a lot of meaning to people."

The buyback was implemented after an alleged terrorist murdered 51 people at two mosques in the city.