Military style semi-automatics to be banned in NZ

By Jessica Tyson

Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws announced today by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

It comes after military-style weapons were used when 50 people were killed at a terror attack at two Christchurch mosques last Friday.

“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too," says Ardern.

She says related parts used to convert the guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.

An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and a buyback scheme will be developed, she says.

“Further details will be announced on the buyback in due course,” says Ardern.

Legislation to be introduced in April

Legislation to give effect to the ban will be introduced when Parliament sits in the first week of April.

“We will provide a short, sharp Select Committee process for feedback on the technical aspects of the changes,” says Ardern.

It is expected that amendments to the Arms Act will be passed within the next session of Parliament.

Police Minister Stuart Nash says the Bill will include narrow exemptions for legitimate business use, which would include professional pest control.

“Police and the Defence Force will also have exemptions. Issues like access for mainstream international sporting competitions are also being worked through.”

Nash has also acknowledged that some guns serve legitimate purposes in farming communities, and have therefore set out exemptions for 0.22 calibre rifles and shotguns commonly used for duck hunting.

"These will have limitations around their capacity," he says.