New Zealand bans assault, semi-automatic rifles after mosque massacre leaves 50 dead

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 21, 2019, 08.07 AM(IST)

The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is among the potential contenders.  She drew worldwide praise for her response to the Christchurch mosque shootings, after which she tightened gun laws in the country. She has also highlighted social media's role in the propagation of violence and extremism.  Photograph:( ANI )

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'Now, six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand,' New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday.

New Zealand on Thursday banned assault rifles, semi-automatic rifles, high-capacity magazines, and parts that convert guns into military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) rifles.  

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after last Friday's attack on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch left 50 people dead

A 28-year-old Australian and white supremacist had walked up to the Al Noor mosque and started shooting with automatic rifles. He then drove away, walked up to a second mosque — the Linwood mosque — and started shooting again. He used a total of five rifles. 

The youngest of his victims was three years old, the families of the dead said.  

"Now, six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military-style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand," Reuters quoted Ardern as saying on Thursday.

“Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines," she added. 

Ardern has come in for tremendous praise for her handling of the crisis — the worst mass shooting in her country's history. 

She has refused to name the terrorist who carried out the shootings, saying he should not be given the fame he desired. She has called the massacre a terrorist attack, and offered consolation to New Zealand's Muslim communities. 

"New Zealand is their home... They are us," she had said. 

When US President Donald Trump called her after the attacks, offering to help, Ardern, who is 38, said he could by offering "love and compassion" to Muslim communities all over the world. 

And she promptly vowed gun reform

New Zealanders have followed her lead, placing flowers and cards at memorial sites for the dead and offering innumerable hakas — the ceremonial Maori dance — to remember the dead

Ardern has also asked that attention not be directed at her but at the victims.