Late last night New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on "military-style" semi-automatic rifles in the country.
"Today I am announcing that New Zealand will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons. We will also ban all assault rifles. We will also ban all high capacity magazines," she said. "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."
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces sweeping gun law changes:— ABC News (@ABC) March 21, 2019
"Today I am announcing that New Zealand will ban all military-style semiautomatic weapons. We will also ban all assault rifles. We will also ban all high-capacity magazines.” https://t.co/zV36BjCKQ1 pic.twitter.com/he0QS3PpAy
Semi-automatic firearms and "military style" semi-automatic firearms function the same. The only difference between them is purely aesthetic.
According to Ardern, "military style" is defined by the following:
Two types of firearms are now defined as Military Style Semi-Automatics (MSSAs):
· A semi-automatic firearm capable of being used with a detachable magazine which holds more than five cartridges
· A semi-automatic shotgun capable of being used with a detachable magazine which holds more than five cartridges
The new bans are effective immediately, although they will go through parliament for a vote.
Ardern said sellers should halt the sales of the banned weapons immediately and warned shops to return their stockpiles to suppliers.
Residents caught with the banned guns will face the penalties, including fines of up to $4,000 and/or three years in prison.
Democrat presidential candidate and socialist Bernie Sanders endorsed the move right away and said it needs to happen in the United States. He wants to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights overnight.
This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand's lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States. https://t.co/lSAisDG9Ur— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 21, 2019
Based on the specific criteria outlined in the New Zealand ban, Sanders is calling for a ban on essentially every firearm in the United States. The functional definition of "assault rifle" in this case includes nearly all firearms in regular, legal and proper use by millions of Americans. New Zealand doesn't have a Second Amendment. The United States of America does.
As a reminder, the man who helped stop the horrific mosque shooting -- which has prompted these extreme measures -- chased the shooter away with a semi-automatic handgun.
Editor's note/correction: The sentence "Will he be forced to turn in his firearm, too?" was removed from the post. The gun the man used belonged to the shooter.