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New Zealand Parliament Approves Military-Style Weapons Ban

Credit: Newsy Studio
Published on April 10, 2019 - Duration: 01:27s

New Zealand Parliament Approves Military-Style Weapons Ban

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a ban on semiautomatic firearms, magazines and parts.

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New Zealand Parliament Approves Military-Style Weapons Ban

New Zealand voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ban military-style weapons.

Only one lawmaker out of 120 voted against the measure.

The bill bans  most semiautomatic firearms, magazines and parts that can be used to assemble prohibited firearms. It passed Parliament less than a month after a gunman attacked two mosques in New Zealand, killing 50 people and injuring 50 more.  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told lawmakers, "These weapons were designed to kill, and they were designed to maim and that is what they did on the 15th of March." Prior to this attack, similar bills failed in the country's Parliament, but this one was agreed on quickly.

Generally, a bill takes around six months to pass through New Zealand's Parliament.

The bill allows for two exceptions to the ban: Owners of commercial pest-control businesses and gun collectors can have the weapons.

Collectors must remove a part to make the gun unusable and store that part in a different location.

The lawmaker who opposed the measure said he isn't against tightening gun laws, but that he thinks rushing the bill could create a bigger black market for the weapons.

He said: "The fact is, Mr. Speaker, that, unlike the prime minister, who asked, 'Well, is it better to do nothing?'

— I believe that this bill may end up being worse than nothing." The measure is expected to be  approved by the governor general  and become law this week.

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