New Zealand Bans Semiautomatic Weapons in a 119-1 Vote

Twenty-four hours after a right-wing terrorist killed 50 people in a Christchurch mosque, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a national ban on military-style semiautomatic weapons. The introduced bill’s ban extends to all high-capacity ammunition and parts that allow guns to be converted into military-style semiautomatic weapons. All parties, including the main opposition party, overwhelmingly supported Ardern’s plan. Since the perpetrator obtained his firearms legally, Ardern wants to prevent future casualties through a broad firearms ban. “Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack on Friday will be banned,” Arden promised. “These weapons were designed to kill, and they were designed to maim and that is what they did on the 15th of March,” she said. The bill updates the Arms Act of 1983, which Parliament passed after the last mass shooting. The 2019 version includes a buy-back scheme, so who own banned weapons can sell them back to the police for compensation depending on their age and quality. Those found in possession of outlawed weapons face up to five years in prison. The bill also reclassifies some weapons as “military style” so people who owned firearms that were legal in the past must surrender them to the police. Police Commissioner Mike Bush […]

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