Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on all military-style semi-automatic weapons and all assault rifles.
This afternoon, she announced that every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch last Friday would be banned under more stringent gun laws.
As of 3pm today an order in council took effect. The changes to the regulations would mean the firearms were now catergorised as needing an E-class licence endorsement.
This means no one will be able to buy the weapons without police approval. Ms Ardern said there was no point in applying for one.
For those who are already in possession of these weapons, Ms Ardern said the firearms would be tightly regulated, while for everyone else, the weapons would now be effectively out of reach.
She also said the government would be establishing a buyback scheme to take the firearms out of circulation.
There is quite a lot of detail more. (and you have to love the bad editing on ‘catergorised ‘ – someone needs a better spell-checker ).
Now that is a good first step. It is what can be done immediately within the current legislation using an order in council. That gets a military style weapons from being sold (updated: and means most existing MSSA need to be turned in).
They will proceed to banning them, having a buyback, and giving substantial fines and prison sentences for possession of up to 3 years via legislation.
The Police Association has called for semi-automatic weapons to be banned, while Fish and Game said it supported a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons.
I agree with the Police Association on this.
As much as I like working and playing with semi-automatic (and automatic) weapons, there is substantially no real difference between a military style semi-auto and other semi-autos. The self-arming mechanism is exactly the same. The MSSA style just have other features that make them easier to use.
But anyone moderately skilled with an enhanced magazine and a few judicial structural cuts with a non-military semi-auto firearm can get very close to the same fire rates and killing convenience.
My understanding updated via Dennis Frank:
Police Commissioner Mike Bush: “for many people, you will now be in unlawful possession of your firearm. Given this is an immediate change, there is an amnesty to allow the notification and hand in their firearms to Police.”http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1903/S00640/police-announce-process-to-hand-over-reclassified-mssas.htm
He then outlines what folks must do to become law-abiding. There will be thousands of attack weapons flooding in – I hope the media gets photos of the result, because it will have a profoundly positive effect on youngsters!
Of course that is the case. If someone has a class A gun license, they can no longer possess what is now a class E weapon.