Potential loophole exposed in semi-automatics ban

It's official: our gun laws have just drastically changed, and police are warning the now-illegal military style semi-automatics must not be used.

But there may still be loopholes that allow high-capacity guns in New Zealand.

With the stroke of a pen, the Governor General gave the semi-automatics ban the royal assent following an emotional speech from Police Minister Stuart Nash.

"We embrace those who lost their lives in the mosques. They are us."

Now it's up to police to get all the guns back. On Thursday, they showed off an arsenal of weapons - what's still okay, and what's not.

One weapon that isn't banned holds 33 rounds of ammunition, but it's actually a pistol.

"I wouldn't say it's a loophole," Minister Nash said when asked. Pistols are not covered by the gun ban.

The Minister says that's because the pistol licencing regime is much more rigorous. It's harder to own one, and only 4500 people have the licence to do so.

"We are going to have a look at the whole licensing regime," he told Newshub. "I admit that does not look like the sort of stock-standard pistol you'd imagine. It looks like a very scary weapon."

He said he doesn't "particularly" like the idea of such weapons being sold in this country.

Before the Minister even begins to think about his next lot of gun reforms, there's the mammoth task of collecting and destroying all the banned guns.

Police will be heading round the country to collect guns to avoid too many people venturing out with them. The guns must stay locked up until then, and must not be used.

"I expect 100 percent compliance, frankly," Deputy Commissioner Michael Clement said. "Those firearms are prohibited."

The next stage for the Government to work out is the buyback. Minister Nash says by May, gun owners will have a clear idea of what they'll be paid.