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New Zealand announces ban on military style semi-automatic and assault rifles less than a week after Christchurch massacre

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  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on all “military-style semi-automatic weapons” and assault rifles, at a press conference on Thursday local time.
  • “In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country.”
  • The program will include a “buy-back scheme” for banned weapons that officials estimate will cost between “$100 million and $200 million,” Ardern explained.
  • The announcement comes less than a week after 50 people were killed in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on all “military-style semi-automatic weapons” and assault rifles, at a press conference on Thursday local time.

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

The announcement comes less than a week after a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch left 50 dead and more than 40 wounded.

“Today I am announcing that New Zealand will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons,” she continued during a press conference. “We will also ban all assault rifles. We will ban all high capacity magazines. We will ban all parts with the ability to convert semi-automatic or any other type of firearm into a military-style semi-automatic weapon. We will ban parts that cause a firearm to generate semi-automatic, automatic or close to automatic gunfire.”

Read more: What we know about the guns used in the Christchurch mosque attacks, and how New Zealand’s gun laws could change after the massacre

The program will include a “buy-back scheme” for banned weapons that officials estimate will cost between “$100 million and $200 million,” Ardern explained.

“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,” she said. “And today they will.”

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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