Police Minister Stuart Nash says tightening up gun laws should have knock-on effects for illegal gun holders.
The government has announced the second tranche of gun law changes which includes a gun registry and tighter licensing rules.
The changes have been criticised by gun owners as targeting law abiding citizens, rather than illegal firearm holders.
But Stuart Nash says told Mike Hosking it's about community safety.
“I accept some guns will still be held illegally, but after December 20th, anyone possessing a banned weapon faces up to five-years in jail.”
Nash says between 800 and 1000 firearms are stolen every year.
He says they're trying to ensure licence holders understand their responsibilities and keep firearms safe and secure.
A gun owners' group says the success or otherwise of gun law changes will take some time to appear.
Council of Licensed Firearms Owners spokeswoman Nicole McKee told Mike Hosking police have said there will be other hand-in options, but they're yet to see what those are.
She says some gun owners don't want to attend a public buy-back event.