New Zealand bans military styled semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles

All military styled semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines were banned in New Zealand, following the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack on Friday will be banned. I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride.”

Ms. Ardern’s cabinet agreed to the law to ban military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles 72 hours after the Christchurch attacks. She also added that a law will be drafted urgently, and put before the parliament by the 11th of April.

The immediate ban would prevent people from stockpiling weapons ahead of the change in law. The prime minister hopes to encourage gun owners to surrender their weapons in a buyback scheme. The scheme will cost the government anywhere between US$ 69 million and US$ 139 million, depending on the numbers received.

Anyone who keeps weapons after this period  could be fined up to NZ$ 4,000 or even face three years in jail.

Prime Minister Ardern hopes that, “The vast majority of New Zealanders will support this change. I feel incredibly confident of that.”