New Zealand Parliament votes 119-1 to ban assault weapons

New Zealand Parliament votes 119-1 to ban assault weapons

Gun Rights

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media to address the Christchurch mass shootings. After just one mass shooting, New Zealand’s Parliament on Wednesday voted 119-1 to ban most semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles in the country. “New Zealand stands apart in its widespread availability of weapons of such destructive nature and force,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Parliament on Wednesday, according to the Guardian . “Today that anomaly ends.” The bill now only needs royal assent from the governor general — largely a formality — to become law. With it, New Zealand will ban the majority of assault rifles and semiautomatic weapons. The measure also includes a buyback program, through which New Zealanders will be able to get rid of the now-outlawed weapons. Parts of the proposal are similar to the action Australia took after its worst mass shooting, in 1996 — changes that have been linked to fewer gun deaths in the subsequent years. The swift action comes after last month’s mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand , in which a white supremacist killed 50 people. New Zealand already had much stronger gun laws than the US ( as is true for developed nations in general ). For one, it requires a license to buy and own firearms — a standard that only a few states in America have. But there are still gaps that have led to some critics describing the country’s laws as “patchy,” particularly when it comes to the registration and […]

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