Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 November 2019

New Zealand reforms gun laws within a month of Christchurch shooting

MPs pass bill that will ban most military-style firearms, like those used in last month's mosque shootings

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses a news conference in Wellington. AP
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses a news conference in Wellington. AP

New Zealand's parliament voted to change the country's gun laws less than a month after a terrorist killed 50 people during Friday prayers at two Christchurch mosques.

MPs voted 119-to-one in favour of changing the Arms Act after its final reading on Wednesday.

The Arms Amendment Bill will ban most semi-automatic firearms and all military-style semi-automatic rifles, like those used during the March shootings.

"We are ultimately here because 50 people died and they do not have a voice. We in this house are their voice. Today, we can use that voice wisely," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

The bill will pass into law by next week.

The single MP who opposed to the bill did so on the grounds that there was insufficient public consultation.

MPs paid tribute to those who lost their lives, while recognising survivors suffering physical or mental wounds and the families of those affected.

A 28-year-old white supremacist has been charged with 50 counts of murder.

The man posted a 70-page diatribe online shortly before his attack. He also live-streamed the attack, which prompted a backlash against social media platforms that hosted the content.

Updated: April 10, 2019 03:57 PM

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