EVERY weapon used in Friday’s terrorist attack in Christchurch will be banned in New Zealand under swift new gun laws announced on Thursday.
The ban will apply to all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, and parts with the ability to convert firearms into semi-automatic-style weapons.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she hoped the law would be in place by April 11, at the end of the next two-week sitting session.
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“I absolutely believe there will be a common view amongst New Zealanders, those who use guns for legitimate purposes, and those who have never touched one, that the time for the mass and easy availability of these weapons must end. And today they will,” Ms Ardern said.
“Today I am announcing that New Zealand will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons.
“We will also ban all assault rifles. We will ban all high capacity magazines. 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.
“We will ban parts that cause a firearm to generate semi-automatic, automatic or close to automatic gunfire.
“In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country.”
The Prime Minister acknowledged that many people who have these weapons will have bought them legally and said because of this, a buyback scheme would be established to incentivise their return.
“Fair and reasonable compensation” will be paid to owners for their weapons, Ardern said.
The buyback scheme is expected to cost between $100-$200 million.
“The estimate that has been made by officials is that the buyback could cost anywhere between $100 million and $200 million,” Ms Ardern said. “But that is the price that we must pay to ensure the safety of our communities.”
Ms Ardern said it is not known how many of these military-style semi-automatic weapons are in circulation in New Zealand.
“We’re very much in the dark as to how many of these are in circulation,” she said.
Ms Ardern warned gun dealers that the sales of these weapons “should now cease” and that stores should return their stock to suppliers.
The New Zealand Police Minister said anyone who applies to buy a military-style semi-automatic weapon before the ban comes into effect in three weeks is “wasting their time”.