New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday that military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned under stronger new gun laws following the killing of 50 people in the country's worst mass shooting.
On 15 March our history changed forever, said Ardern. “Cabinet agreed to overhaul the law when it met on Monday, 72 hours after the horrific terrorism act in Christchurch.
”Now, six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand, she added.
She added that high capacity magazines and devices similar to bump stocks - which make rifles fire faster - will also be banned.
In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country,” she said.
Ardern said she expects the new law to be in place by Apr 11 and buy-back scheme will be established for banned weapons, which will cost between NZ$100 million and NZ$200 million (between US$69 million and US$139 million), depending on the number of weapons received.
Anyone who keeps the guns after an amnesty period will face fines of up to US$ 4,000 and three years' in jail.
Ardern brushed aside suggestions of opposition to the ban, expressing confidence that gun owners will understand the national interest behind the moves and that the new law will provide for narrow exemptions for legitimate business use.
The vast majority of New Zealanders will support this change. I feel incredibly confident of that, she said.
“To owners who have legitimate uses for their guns, I want to reiterate that the actions being announced today are not because of you, and are not directed at you, she said.
Our actions, on behalf of all New Zealanders, are directed at making sure this never happens again.”