New Zealand mosque shootings: assault rifles to be banned

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"On March 15th our history has changed forever, now our laws too: we are announcing today an action on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our arms laws and make our country a safer place", he said. said Ardern at a press conference in New Zealand's capital Wellington.

The announcement came after the country's cabinet agreed to revise the law and ban military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles 72 hours after the Christchurch attacks.

"Every semiautomatic weapon used in Friday's terrorist attack will be banned," Ardern continued, adding that he hoped the law was in effect by April 11th. "This legislation will be drafted and introduced urgently," he said.

New Zealand lawmakers have instructed officials to develop a repurchase plan. Ardern stated that an amnesty for weapons would be applied, adding that the details of the repurchase would be announced "in due course".

"I firmly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest and will take these changes in their stride," he said.

The Australian model

Ardern pointed to similar measures taken in Australia following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre as an example to follow for New Zealand, including some "exemptions for farmers".

Police Minister Stuart Nash said the bill would include "restrictive exemptions" for the police and defense forces, as well as "legitimate business uses" such as professional pest control.

"Some rifles serve legitimate purposes in our farming communities," he added, noting that exemptions were made for .22 caliber rifles and shotguns used for duck hunting.

It would have been necessary to take immediate action to prevent people from accumulating weapons in view of the change of law and to encourage arms owners to deliver their weapons, he said.

After the Australia implemented a similar ban, the country destroyed more than a million weapons and further repurchases and amnesties have been conducted since. Over 57,000 weapons were delivered last year, including a rocket launcher and a WWII machine gun.

In the wake of the reforms, the mass shootings in Australia have dropped to zero, firearm suicides have declined on average by 4.8% a year, and firearm-related murders have decreased on average by 5.5% per year.

Gun checks welcome

There was a wave of support for stricter arms legislation after the Christchurch terrorist attack. Nearly 70,000 New Zealanders have signed petitions requiring a reform of arms control, according to TVNZ. On Thursday, the crowd gathered outside the parliament in Wellington to deliver petitions to legislators around the world.

The New Zealand Police Association welcomed the planned changes in the law, congratulating the government on "demonstrating the courage to take decisive action and prohibit firearms that have inflicted so much damage on New Zealand".

"I hope the moves will immediately attract party support because it is important for New Zealanders to know that their political leaders are all in agreement with this extremely important move," the president of the Chris Association said in a statement. Cahill.

The lobby group Federated Farmers issued a statement claiming stricter laws on weapons but acknowledged that many of its members would not support its decision.

"This will not be popular among some of our members, but after a week of intense debate and careful consideration by our elected representatives and staff, we believe this is the only viable solution," Feds spokesman said Rural Security Miles Anderson.

"We are trying to follow a responsible path: we cannot allow the wrong guns to fall into the wrong hands."

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