After the Christchurch mosque shootings on Friday the 15th of March, the government of New Zealand has moved swiftly to enact tough new gun laws, banning all sorts of semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles in the country. Friday’s mosque shooting was the worst incident of mass shooting in the country where 50 people lost their lives and another 50 people were injured.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, has announced that these tough new gun laws will be in place by the 11th of April and the government would establish gun buy-back laws soon after.
Ardern stated that six days after the attack, her government is announcing a ban on all semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles inside New Zealand.
She also went on to say that gun modifications and high capacity magazines will also be banned under this new law.
Friday’s attack was carried out by a lone gunman, who touted himself as a white supremacist. The gunman was armed with two semi-automatic rifles including an AR-15, opening fire inside two mosques and shooting mercilessly across unarmed civilians.
New Zealand was used to be called one of the safest countries to visit as the country saw relativity low crime rates. In fact, the total number of homicides in the country for 2018 was lower than the death count of the mosque shootings. A day that the prime minister of New Zealand called as ‘one of the darkest days of the country’, it has forced their politicians to act swiftly and to prevent further attacks of this magnitude from ever taking place.
The new laws will allow leeway to some farmers who require assault rifles to conduct pest control and animal welfare programs.
The initial reactions to these new gun laws have been positive inside the country. New Zealand is a country which leans strictly to the left, and very few people oppose the laws enacted by their government.
New Zealand, a country of fewer than 5 million people, has an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million firearms, around 13,500 of them MSSA type weapons.
The legal age to own a gun inside New Zealand is currently 16, and 18 for people who want to own semi-automatic weapons.
March 15 attacks have incited strong criticism from governments all across the globe, as the rising threat of far-right extremism continues to threaten world peace. The perpetrator of Friday’s mosque shootings released a manifesto minutes before carrying out the attack, in which he stated that he was inspired by the acts of Anders Breivik, the person responsible for the 2011 Norway attacks in which 77 people lost their lives.
The attacker of Christchurch mass shooting was a 28-year-old individual of Australian descent, who blamed Muslim immigration for threatening the purity of the white race, and so decided to carry out his attack inside a mosque, which is a place of worship for the Muslims.