New Zealand bans sales of semi-automatic and assault weapons

In a latest development, New Zealand has banned the sale of assault and semi-automatic weapons after the deadly attack on two mosques of Christchurch in which 50 people had been killed by an armed gunman. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said “be assured that this is just the beginning of the work we’ll be doing. It’s in the national interest  and it’s about safety…to prevent an act of terror ever happening again in the country..Now six days after the attack, we are announcing a ban on all military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles in New Zealand. Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned along with all high-capacity magazines…In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country”. Ardern also said that the new law will come into effect from April 11 and the government will also arrange for buy-back schemes for all the banned weapons.  

She also added that the interim measures which had been announced will put an end to a rush of purchases before the law comes into effect next month. The farmers of the country will be exempted as many require arms for pest control and also livestock management.

The move has come after exactly 6 days when a gunman had indiscriminately killed around 50 people at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. All the victims of the attacks have been identified, and funerals continue to take place as relatives call on the bodies of their loved ones from the authorities. The attack had been carried out by the Australian Brenton Tarrant who is 28. He is charged with murder and has been remanded without a plea. He will again be produced in court on April 5, when police will has stated he will face more charges. The scale and style of attack being live streamed on social media has caused a global backlash.

Jacinda Ardern has cited the decision of Australia to change the gun laws within 12 days after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. 35 people had been killed in the same. Ardern cited the above as a blueprint for bringing about amendments in the New Zealand’s gun laws.

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