After the deadly mosque shooting that left 49 dead in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed to ban all semi-automatic rifles, like the ones used during the shooting. Lawmakers followed up on Arden's promise on Tuesday when they voted in favor of banning the types of firearms used during the Christchurch shooting, the Associated Press reported.
The bill was backed by every single lawmaker, both liberal and conservative, with one exception: David Seymour, who said the bill was rushed.
“Doing it in nine days before politicians go on their Easter break is starting to look more like political theater than public safety,” Seymour said.
The ban would include semi-automatic firearms and shotguns with detachable magazines that hold more than five rounds and accessories that can convert a guns into "military style weapons." The exception is for .22 caliber and smaller that hold up to 10 rounds as well as semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns with non-detachable magazines that hold up to five rounds, The Truth About Guns reported.
Police Minister Stuart Nash said too many people have access to dangerous firearms.
“We are also driven by the memory of 50 men, women and children who were taken from their loved ones on the 15th of March,” Nash told the AP. “Their memory is our responsibility. We don’t ever want to see an attack like this in our country again. We are compelled to act quickly.”
In addition to the ban, New Zealand lawmakers have also instituted a gun buyback program. People have until Sept. 30 to sell their guns back to the New Zealand government in order for them to be destroyed.
The buyback program is expected to cost $200 million NZ ($137 million U.S. dollars).
Nash said 200 people have turned in their firearms although it appears many are waiting to receive more details of the ban.