The Christchurch shooting that happened on March 15, 2019 shocked the whole world. The act was condemned as gruesome and insensitive by many. After the incident there were news of banning the use of guns, and same has been acted upon.
The parliament of New Zealand’s has unanimously voted to ban all kinds of semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles. The gun reform bill was passed 119-1 in parliament, after the final reading. The same is expected to become law over the next few days once it is approved by the governor general.
PM Jacinda Ardern, declared the new law after death of 50 people last month. This was done by an alleged lone gunman at two mosques in Christchurch.
Getting emotional, the PM had announced in parliament on Wednesday that the victims was the reason why there were taking the decision. She mentioned that during her visit in the hospital there was not one patient who had only one gunshot wound, there were multiple wounds.
“They will face physical issues for a lifetime and that’s before you consider the psychological impact,” she said. “These weapons were designed to kill, and they were designed to maim and that is what they did on the 15th of March,” Ms Ardern told MPs.
The change and time line
“Six days after this attack, we are declaring a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand,” Ms Ardern mentioned in a conference last month. “Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.”
A plea of forgiveness has been forced to enable owners of affected weapons surrender the weapons, this is also supported by a buy-back scheme.
What is the existing gun laws?
Ms Ardern mentioned that buy-back would cost to NZ$200m ($138m; £104m), however “that is the price that we must pay to ensure the safety of our communities”.
What are semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles?
Semi-automatic weapons, fire one bullet per trigger pull and does not need to be reloaded. It is different w.r.t fully automatic weapons as it does not fire rounds continuously, once the trigger is pressed.
The assault weapon are those that can switch between automatic and semi-automatic modes as per requirement. A Semi-automatic weapons is mostly rifles and shotguns, pistols, and the AR-15 rifle. An AR-15 rifle is fast and can release around 45- 60 rounds/minute.
The massacre of March caused many deaths and had led to a critical situation.