New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles, and high-capacity magazines will be banned in New Zealand following the tragic mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques that claimed the lives of 50 people.
During a press conference in the capital Wellington, Adern said, “On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place.” She continued, “Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack on Friday will be banned. This legislation will be drafted and introduced in urgency.” Ardern added that she hopes the law will be in place by April 11th.
The country’s cabinet agreed to override the law and ban military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles just 72 hours following the Christchurch attacks. New Zealand police report an estimated 1.2 million guns are in circulation in the country. That’s one for every three people. Ardern said the buyback scheme could cost between $100 to $200 million.
According to CNN, the gun reform proposal will be introduced to Parliament the first week of April, and for it to go into effect, lawmakers need to vote on amending the existing legislation, the Arms Act 1983. That will result in many people who legally owned certain rifle types will no longer be able to possess them on their existing license conditions.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said gun drops would be set up at police stations so citizens can safely hand in their guns.
“I can’t emphasize enough that in the current environment it is important you do not take your now-unlawful firearm anywhere without notifying police. It is absolutely vital that we manage the safe and organized transport of all firearms into police custody.”
Continued prayers for the victims, families, and country of New Zealand 🙏🏾