Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Christchurch mosque attacks: Immediate ban for military-style weapons after massacre

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arderm speaks to representatives of the Muslim community at Canterbury refugee centre in Christchurch New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Jeannette Daniel | 21 March, 2019, 22:01

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday called his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern and condemned the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch that killed 50 people.

"Christchurch, Friday March 15 has changed everything". Now, our laws will too.

"We have spoken with the person incorrectly named on the charging document and apologised", police said. "We will also ban all assault rifles", Ardern said, while announcing interim measures that will stop a rush of purchases before legislation is enacted.

He said that NZ PM's condolences to the Muslim families who lost their loved ones in the shootings has created her special place in hearts of people across the world.

"Now, six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand", Ms Ardern said.

For years, politicians have tried and failed to reform New Zealand's gun laws. Live-streamed video of a gunman in one of the mosques showed a semi-automatic weapon with a large magazine. It includes high capacity magazines and parts that can be used to upgrade guns to semi-automatics.

"I feel incredibly confident of that", Ardern said.

Ardern said people could hand over their guns under an amnesty while officials develop a formal buyback scheme, which could cost up to 200 million New Zealand dollars ($140 million). "New Zealand Police regret this error and apologise for any harm caused by the mistake".

Recreational hunting of deer, pigs, and goats is popular for sport and food, while gun clubs and shooting ranges dot the country.

Federated Farmers, which represent thousands of farmers, said it supported the change.

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"This will not be popular among some of our members but.we believe this is the only practicable solution", Federated Farmers Rural Security spokesman Miles Anderson said in a statement.

"We agree that the public doesn't need access to military style semi-automatic weapons".

Alpers noted that New Zealand, although it requires handgun registration, "is still the only country apart from the United States and to some degree Canada that doesn't have (firearm) registration as its third pillar of gun control" along with licensing and treating possession as a conditional privilege.

New Zealand police and tradesmen are working intensively in the hope of readying the Al Noor mosque to hold Friday prayers, just a week after it was the center of a racist shooting which left 50 dead.

A man sits on the sidewalk after attending the burial ceremony of some of the victims of the mosque attacks.

Police move floral tributes near the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Rd in Christchurch.

Most victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Police charged 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant with a single, representative count of murder after 50 people were killed in Friday's attack on two mosques in Christchurch.

The alleged gunman appeared in court last week where he faced one charge of murder, for a woman whose name was suppressed.

Imam Gamal Fouda said he is expecting 3,000 to 4,000 people at Friday's prayer service, including many who have come from overseas.

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