Wellington, MINA – New Zealand has banned sale of assault rifles and semi-automatic military weapons after the country’s worst shooting attack that killed 50 Muslims in two mosques.
“Rest assured this is only the beginning of the work we will do,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference in Wellington on Thursday.
“This is for national interest and this is about security, to prevent terrorism from happening again in our country,” he said of the ban, Al Jazeera reported, quoted by MINA.
Ardern said he hoped the new law would take effect on April 11 and a repurchase scheme would be made for prohibited weapons.
The ban includes high-capacity magazine, which can accommodate a lot of ammunition, and accessories that can turn ordinary rifles into fast-paced assault rifles.
“Now, six days after this attack, we announced a ban on all military-style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand,” Ardern said.
She revealed that perpetrators of attacks on two mosques in Christchurch bought their weapons legally and easily in purchased online.
“In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in a terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country,” she added.
Ardern said temporary measures announced on Thursday would stop rushed purchases before the law on action came into effect next month.
Parliament is expected to be able to approve the proposed legislation when reuniting in mid-April.
New Zealand, with a population of around 5 million, has nearly 250,000 owners of licensed firearms, the government said It is estimated that there are around 1.5 million firearms in the country.
This ban received broad support in New Zealand. The chairman of opposition National Party, Simon Bridges, said “We agree that the public does not need access to military-style semi-automatic weapons.”
A professor and weapons expert from Otago University Kevin Clements said the ban placed the country of New Zealand almost on par with Australia, Britain and “like Canada. ”
One of the country’s biggest weapons retailers, Hunting & Fishing New Zealand, said it was supporting “any government action to permanently ban such weapons.” The company said it would stop selling military-style weapons and stop selling firearms online. (T/Sj/R04)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)