Less than a week after the Christchurch attacks, New Zealand is taking serious action on gun laws. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today that all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned.
The proposal goes to Parliament in the first week of April. Before that, New Zealand leaders may reclassify some semi-automatic weapons as “military-style.” Of course, this means a lot of New Zealand citizens will suddenly find themselves owning illegal firearms.
The country’s Cabinet has been tasked with creating a buyback program, and there will be a period of “gun amnesty” during which citizens can drop off the newly banned firearms at police stations.
One lobbying group acknowledged the changes may not sit well with some of its members but said it backs tougher laws, adding, “We are trying to tread a responsible path.”