New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday that they will ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles under tough new gun laws. This comes in the immediate aftermath of last Friday’s shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, Ardern, which killed 50 people in the country’s worst mass shooting.
“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,” Ardern told a news conference. “All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned.”
Ardern said she expected the new laws to be in place by April 11 and a buy-back scheme costing up to NZ$200 million ($138 million) would be established for banned weapons. All military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles would be banned, along with parts used to convert weapons into MSSAs and all high-capacity magazines.
New Zealand is a country of fewer than 5 million people and has an estimated 1.2-1.5 million firearms, about 13,500 of them MSSA-type weapons.
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