Politics

Jacinda Ardern Just Announced That New Zealand Is Making Sweeping Gun Law Changes. Today.

“In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country.”

Jacinda Ardern gun ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just announced massive gun law changes in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, saying that all military-style semi-automatic weapons will be banned as of 3pm today.

The ban will apply to all assault rifles, high capacity magazines, and any parts used to convert firearms into military-style semi-automatic weapons. “In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country,” Ardern said at a press conference this afternoon. The government has introduced an interim measure to stop these guns from being sold going forward, and is drafting legislation that will be introduced as soon as possible.

“I absolutely believe there will be a common view amongst New Zealanders — those who use guns for legitimate purposes, and those who have never touched one — that the time for the mass and easy availability of these weapons must end,” Ardern said. “And today, they will.”

For those who have already bought these weapons legally, there will be a buyback scheme offering fair compensation for the return of these. Gun owners are encouraged to go to the New Zealand police website to arrange this, though some gun owners have reportedly already begun returning weapons. You can find more information about the kinds of guns that will and won’t be affected here.

These changes come less than a week after the Christchurch mosque attack. Accordingly, Ardern noted that there will likely be more changes to come, including a gun registration system, once Cabinet has had time to consider existing loopholes in gun laws.

“This is just the beginning of the work we need to do,” she said, urging New Zealanders to come together on this issue and do what needs to be done.

You can watch the announcement below. Jacinda Ardern’s response to this attack could teach other leaders a lot right now.