New Zealand has rolled out a ban on military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles following last week’s massacre in Christchurch, which saw 50 people killed at two mosques in the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.
High-capacity magazines and parts used to convert other weapons into the banned guns are also banned under the new laws, which PM Jacinda Ardern expects to take effect by April 11. A buyback scheme will also be put in place for weapons on the banned list.
“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too,” Ardern said at a press conference on Thursday. New Zealand follows the example of Australia, which banned all semi-automatic weapons following a 1996 mass shooting in Port Arthur that killed 35 people.
The most pronounced reactions came from Americans, many of whom believe similar laws are soon to be introduced stateside. Whether they want those laws is another matter entirely.
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Democratic pols praised the move,
This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand's lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States. https://t.co/lSAisDG9Ur
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 21, 2019
Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8.
Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market.
This is what leadership looks like ⬇️ https://t.co/TcdR63anBt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 21, 2019
while gun control advocates looked westward with envy.
USA 6 yrs after Sandy Hook
•Thoughts & prayers
New Zealand 6 days after Christchurch
•Ban semi automatic assault weapons
•Pay for all funerals
•Provide income for harmed
•Wear solidarity scarf
•AND Thoughts & prayerspic.twitter.com/cdOXkr1BqI
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) March 21, 2019
It took New Zealand SIX DAYS to do what we should have done years ago. Our inaction regarding safer gun laws is ignorant and inexcusable.@realDonaldTrump – you want respect? You want praise? You want thank-yous? Ban assault weapons & institute more rigorous background checks!
— Ken Olin (@kenolin1) March 21, 2019
Republicans were repulsed.
Breaking: New Zealand only allows criminals to have semi auto rifles
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) March 21, 2019
So, if we pass this law, the criminals are going to follow it? Then why aren’t they following the other 22,000 gun laws on the books? What makes this law so special?
— William Waring (@billwaring) March 21, 2019
1.4% of the population just petitioned the rights away of the other 98.6%
New Zealand is the definition of beta for letting this happen
— Eric Spracklen (@ThatTrumpGuy) March 21, 2019
Reports of New Zealanders voluntarily turning in their guns came in for particular derision.
AHHH.. The Cabal thinks if they False Flag the US now we will comply because NZ just did…
LMAO!!! Molon Labe https://t.co/5e9Jpf25Ei
— thewavesmoothjazz (@richierigg1) March 19, 2019
Many worried that the Christchurch shooting and subsequent crackdowns – on guns, on speech, even on watching the livestreamed video of the slaughter – are a form of dress rehearsal for a planned US clampdown.
So good to see the ruling class in New Zealand react to tragedy with a logical, rational, reasoned approach instead of having ISPs block websites, throwing 18 year olds in jail for sharing a link, banning books, and destroying the gun rights of law abiding citizens.
— Gab.com (@getongab) March 21, 2019
— Grateful American © (@JayChpJones) March 21, 2019