New Zealand bans all assault weapons


Marty Melville | AFP | Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to journalists during a press conference at the Justice Precinct in Christchurch on March 20, 2019.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand is immediately banning assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and “military style semi-automatic rifles” like the weapons used in last Friday’s attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

Ardern announced the ban Thursday and said it would be followed by legislation to be introduced next month.

“Today I am announcing that New Zealand will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons,” Ardern said Wednesday. “We will also ban all assault rifles. We will ban all high capacity magazines.”

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

She said the man arrested in the attacks had purchased his weapons legally and enhanced their capacity by using 30-round magazines “done easily through a simple online purchase.”

— CNBC contributed to this report.

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