New Zealand Lawmakers Pass Tough Gun Laws After Christchurch Mosque Attacks

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

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A near unanimous gun-law is set to pass this week in New Zealand following the horrific terrorist attack on two mosques in the city of Christchurch. The Arms Amendment Bill will remove semi-automatic and military styled firearms from circulation and use by the general population. It prohibits the importing, selling, supplying or possession of these weapons.

New firearm offences will be created – some punishable by 10-year maximum jail sentences. Friday will mark four weeks since the Australian attacker murdered 50 people last month. Six days after the shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden detailed her plans on gun reform with a bill introduced to parliament on April 1st.

Gun laws in New Zealand have not undergone major change since 1992 following a shooting spree that killed 14 people in the town of Aramoana in 1990.

There is estimated to be 1.5 million guns in New Zealand. A process for a gun buyback is currently being developed, determining compensation for gun owners who hand over weapons. High-capacity magazines and gun parts will also be accepted.

Police acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith demonstrated to a select committee in Parliament the types of weapons and magazines that will be banned under the new guns legislation.

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