New Zealand to Ban Military-Style Guns After Mosque Shootings

New Zealand to Ban Military-Style Guns After Mosque Shootings

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday that the government will ban "military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles", in an attempt to head-off "the kind of horror and attack that we saw on Friday".

"We will also ban all assault rifles", Ardern said, while announcing interim measures that will stop a rush of purchases before legislation is enacted.

Ms Ardern had previously stated that New Zealand would see gun law reforms "within 10 days" of the Christchurch mosque shootings which left 50 people dead.

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NZ Police Commissioner Michael Bush said there were around a quarter of a million firearms users in New Zealand, but he did not give a breakdown on how many possess semi-automatics.

Nada Tawfeek, who buried her father-in-law killed in the attacks, Hussein Moustafa, on Thursday, welcomed the ban.

A mass burial is expected to be held on Friday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Friday's call to prayers for Muslims will be broadcast nationally and there will be a two-minute silence.

Workers at the Al Noor mosque have been working feverishly to fix the destruction from the attacks, said imam Gamal Fouda. "The guns used in this attack had the power to shoot continuously.

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Now, our laws will too", Ardern said at a press conference on Thursday.

Police have not yet released details of exactly which weapons he used, but footage suggests at least one of the weapons was a semi-automatic rifle similar to an AR-15 that has been widely available in New Zealand. The call to prayer will be telecast nationally.

"New Zealand police regret this error and apologies for any harm caused by the mistake".

Most victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, the alleged gunman, is understood to have primarily used two guns, both assault rifles, which he purchased legally on a "category-A" license, the standard category of gun license available to anyone in New Zealand over the age of 16 who meets police checks.

Dubai company Transguard on Wednesday said it had fired an employee who has since been deported after he purportedly put up a celebratory Facebook post about the March 15 terror attack in New Zealand, Gulf News reported. Christian leaders led hymns and people laid ferns as a symbol of peace.

"But after a week of intense debate, we believe this is the only practicable solution".

At a subsequent visit to a local mosque, her composure and empathy while meeting survivors was lauded, as was her insistence that New Zealand would remain a refuge for people of all faiths from across the world.

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