New Zealand will ban military style weapons

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New Zealand will ban all types of semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles following the Christchurch attacks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.

The announcement comes less than a week after 50 people were killed at two mosques, allegedly by a white supremacist.

Ms Ardern said she expected new legislation to be in place by 11 April, saying: “Our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too.”

Six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand,” Ms Ardern said in a news conference.

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

An amnesty and a buy-back scheme is being imposed so the owners of affected weapons could hand them in.

Ms Ardern said the buy-back could cost up to NZ$200m ($138m; £104m) but that “that is the price that we must pay to ensure the safety of our communities”.

The prime minister has called the Christchurch attacker a terrorist and said she will not utter his name.

She said many gun owners had “acted within the law” but that “the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest”.

As with Australia’s gun reforms in 1996, exemptions will be made for farmers who need weapons for pest control and animal welfare.

Police minister Stuart Nash, who was present at the prime minister’s press conference, said it was “a privilege and not a right to own a firearm in New Zealand”.

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