TAKING A STAND

New Zealand Bans All Assault Rifles in Wake of Christchurch Shootings

New Zealand has banned all military-style semi-automatic guns and assault rifles, effective immediately, following last week’s mass shooting. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted that the accused gunman in the attacks on two Christchurch mosques used weapons that had been purchased legally and made them more lethal by using 30-round magazines “done easily through a simple online purchase.” Fifty people were killed in the attacks. “What we’ve done here is taken out the guns out of circulation that are most critical to be addressed urgently and that’s what we’ve announced, with essentially almost immediate effect,” Ardern said, noting that her administration is already preparing for the next steps and a “second tranche” of measures. The cabinet will receive a paper on these issues on Monday, she said. When asked how many assault rifles there are in the country, Ardern said they don’t have an exact number, just as they don’t have a number for how many military-style semi-automatic weapons (MSSAs) are in circulation.