New Zealand has rolled out a ban on military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles following last week’s massacre in Christchurch, which saw 50 people killed at two mosques in the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.
High-capacity magazines and parts used to convert other weapons into the banned guns are also banned under the new laws, which PM Jacinda Ardern expects to take effect by April 11. A buyback scheme will also be put in place for weapons on the banned list.
PM Jacinda Ardern: “On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too,” Ardern said at a press conference on Thursday. New Zealand follows the example of Australia, which banned all semi-automatic weapons following a 1996 mass shooting in Port Arthur that killed 35 people.
The most pronounced reactions came from Americans, many of whom believe similar laws are soon to be introduced stateside. Whether they want those laws is another matter entirely.
Democratic pols praised the move, while gun control advocates looked westward with envy, Republicans were repulsed.
Reports of New Zealanders voluntarily turning in their guns came in for particular derision.
Many worried that the Christchurch shooting and subsequent crackdowns – on guns, on speech, even on watching the livestreamed video of the slaughter – are a form of dress rehearsal for a planned US clampdown.
Bernie Sanders: “This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.”
Washington Post: This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States. New Zealand has banned military-style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday, just six days after attacks on two mosques in Christchurch that left 50 people dead.
Joe Biggs: “New Zealand only allows criminals to have semi auto rifles.”
William Waring: So, if we pass this law, the criminals are going to follow it? Then why aren’t they following the other 22,000-gun laws on the books? What makes this law so special?