New Zealand adopts gun reforms
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/21/19, 10:42 am
New Zealand on Thursday outlawed “military-grade” semi-automatic weapons after 50 people died in two shootings at mosques in Christchurch on Friday. The restrictions also cover high-capacity magazines and accessories such as pistol grips, folding or telescopic butts, and flash suppressors. A sales ban takes effect immediately to prevent people from stockpiling the weapons, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, and a complete ban will follow. The law will allow ownership of semi-automatic, .22-caliber or smaller guns that hold up to 10 rounds or semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns with nondetachable magazines that hold up to five rounds.
“Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack last Friday will be banned,” Ardern said. The government is expected to finalize the new laws by April 11. They will also include a buyback plan that could cost up to $138 million. New Zealand has about 250,000 registered firearms holders, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. The government asked all those who owned the restricted weapons to report them in the next two days before turning them in.
Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, is in custody and charged with murder in the shootings.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.