Tue | Apr 23, 2019

New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns after mosque attacks

Published:Thursday | March 21, 2019 | 9:39 AM
In this March 20, 2019, photo, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a press conference following the March 15 mosque shooting, in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Kyodo News via AP)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday announced a ban of “military-style” semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines like those used in the shootings at Christchurch mosques last week.

Ardern said a sales ban was effective immediately to prevent stockpiling and would be followed by a complete ban on the weapons after new laws were rushed through.

She said people could hand over their guns under an amnesty while officials develop a formal buyback scheme, which could cost up to 200 million New Zealand dollars.

The man charged in the mosque attacks had purchased his weapons legally using a standard firearms license and enhanced their capacity by using 30-round magazines “done easily through a simple online purchase,” Ardern said.

“Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned,” she said.

The ban includes any semi-automatic guns or shotguns that are capable of being used with a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds. It also extends to accessories used to convert guns into what the government called “military-style” weapons.

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