New Zealand Is Banning Military-Style Semi Automatic Weapons Following The Christchurch Terror Attack
New Zealand will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons and introduce a gun buyback scheme following the deadly terror attack in Christchurch.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced the ban on Thursday afternoon, saying legislation is being drafted and will be introduced urgently.
“I absolutely believe there will be a common view amongst New Zealanders, those who use guns for legitimate purposes, and those who have never touched one, that the time for the mass and easy availability of these weapons must end,” she said.
“And today they will.”
Ardern said military-style automatic weapons, assault rifles and high capacity magazines will all be banned, as well as parts that can convert guns to be a military style semi-automatic or automatic weapon.
“In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country,” she said.
The details of the buyback scheme are still being developed, but Ardern said its estimated cost was between $100 million and $200 million NZD.
The government has also introduced an interim measure to ensure no guns of this kind can be purchased after 3pm Thursday New Zealand time.
Ardern said cabinet would consider exemptions for some uses of these weapons – for instance large-scale culling of animals — but that they would be “tightly regulated”.
She thanked dealers who had already pulled these guns from sale and told others: “Sales should essentially cease”.
“My expectation is that these weapons will be returned to your suppliers and never enter into the New Zealand market again.”
People who presently own these kinds of guns are urged to visit the New Zealand police website for more information.
“Do not arrive at the police station unannounced with these weapons in your possession,” Ardern warned. “I can ensure people that there will be time for the returns to be made and that they will not be criminalised overnight.”
Ardern acknowledged that there are responsible gun owners in New Zealand, particularly in rural areas.
“I have been steadfast in my belief that the vast majority of these owners will support what we are doing here today because it is about all of us,” she said.
“It is in the national interest and it is about safety.”