Less than a week after the deadliest terror attack in New Zealand, the country’s Prime Minister banned all semi-automatic firearms in the country.
On Friday, a terrorist killed at least 50 people when he entered two mosques in Christchurch with semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said every one of the weapons would be banned.
“Today I am announcing that New Zealand will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons. We will also ban all assault rifles. We will also ban all high capacity magazines,” Ardern said on Thursday, ABC News reports. “We will ban all parts with the ability to convert semi-automatic or any other type of firearm into a military-style semi-automatic weapon.”
The gun laws are expected to quickly make their way through the parliament once it opens for a two-week session at the end of the month. This could put the ban into law before the session concludes on April 11.
BREAKING: New Zealand prime minister announces sweeping gun law changes after mosque shooting. “In short, every semiautomatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country.” https://t.co/jpcSvS7rD7 pic.twitter.com/B2A2ImeSKH
— ABC News (@ABC) March 21, 2019
According to the report, people caught with these banned firearms could have to serve up to three years in prison or have to pay $4,000 in fines. These penalties could be increased before the new law passes.
An option for shops and residents who have the guns include a buyback program with the government.
Here’s more, from ABC News:
Ardern said sellers should halt the sales of the banned weapons immediately and warned shops to return their stockpiles to suppliers. She said they didn’t have an estimate for the number of assault rifles or military-style semi-automatic weapons currently in the country.
The country will also establish a buy-back scheme, which could cost between $100 million to $200 million, “a price that we must pay for the safety of our community,” Ardern said.
Ardern said Cabinet ministers made an in-principle decision to tighten gun ownership laws in a meeting immediately after the horrific shooting, which left 50 dead. The massacre marked the deadliest shooting in New Zealand history.
Twitchy reports Democrat lawmakers in the United States were giddy over the announcement and encouraged a similar ban against law-abiding Americans.
“This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like,” Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted. “We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.”
Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez similarly tweeted: “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,” she added. “This is what leadership looks like.”
Of course, some conservatives on the social media platform offered their own takes: