Speed Reads

christchurch shooting

New Zealand passes gun bill less than 1 month after Christchurch shootings

New Zealand's Parliament voted on Wednesday to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons less than one month after mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch left 50 dead.

Just six days following the violence, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she was introducing a change to the country's gun laws. Her bill passed easily, 119-1, and now only needs to be approved by the governor general to become law. That final step is expected to go ahead without hindrance, per the BBC. Ardern reportedly held back tears when she addressed Parliament on Wednesday, telling lawmakers they were acting for "the victims and families" of the Christchurch shootings.

The lone holdout on the bill was the ACT Party, whose leader, David Seymour, said the party did not oppose gun reform in general but believed this version of the bill was "an exercise in political theater."

Ardern's government has also proposed a buyback scheme for people who own the type of guns that are now banned. The legislation will allow amnesty until the end of September for owners to relinquish their weapons.

RNZ reports the another phase of reform is also planned, including more restrictions in the vetting process and a firearms registry.