New Zealand PM announces semi-automatic and assault rifle ban
© WikiMedia (Ulrich Lange)
New Zealand PM announces semi-automatic and assault rifle ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday announced plans to ban on semi-automatic and assault rifles.

The Governor-General of New Zealand, Patsy Reddy, signed an Order in Council under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act of 1983 that broadened the semi-automatic classification of the Act to include weapons similar to those used in the Christchurch terrorist attack.

Cabinet agreed to overhaul the law when it met on Monday, 72 hours after the horrific terrorism act in Christchurch. Now, six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand. Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.

In addition to this initial Order in Council, Ardern announced an amnesty program to allow citizens to turn in assault rifles affected by the ban, the development of a buyback program, and possible exemptions for pest control. The New Zealand Parliament will consider legislation banning MSSAs in the first week of April.