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New Zealand bans sale of assault, semi-automatic rifles

Move comes a week after the Christchurch attacks

SAMAA | - Posted: Mar 21, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Posted: Mar 21, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

Move comes a week after the Christchurch attacks

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: AFP

New Zealand banned on Thursday the sale of assault and semi-automatic weapons after the deaths of 50 people in the Christchurch mosque attacks.

But Prime Minister Jacina Ardern said this is just the beginning. “It’s in the national interest and it’s about safety…to prevent an act of terror from every happening again in our country,” she told the media on Thursday.

A new law is expected to be in place by April 11 and the government will be introducing buy-back schemes for the banned weapons.

Related: New Zealand shooter’s family apologises to victims, their families

The move comes after it emerged that Brenton Tarrant purchased the weapons used in the attack legally. He then enhanced their capacity by using 30-round magazines “done easily through a simple online purchase”.

“Related parts used to convert these guns into military style semi-automatics are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines,” said PM Ardern. “In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country.”

She said that there would be some limited exemptions for New Zealand’s farmers, who need firearms for pest control and management of their livestock.

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