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April 1, 2019 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Firearms Reform Breakdown

On March 21, six days after the Al Noor and Linwood Mosque Attacks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced plans to ban military-style semi-automatic firearms (MSSAs), including those used in the attack.

 

The Prime Minister’s announcement outlined both this initial, emergency law change, as well as interim measures, and further reforms for the future.

 

An amendment to the Arms Act 1983 is to be passed under urgency this week, which would put a ban on MSSAs and objects which could be used to adapt other firearms into MSSAs.

 

However, some changes to policy have already occured. Prior to the announcement on March 21, the Governor-General was instructed by an Order in Council to classify the firearms and related objects used in the Mosque Attacks as MSSAs.

 

This acted as an interim restriction on the ownership of MSSAs, requiring an E endorsed firearms license to buy and use them.

 

Despite the Bill passing through under urgency, the government has said there will be a full legislative process, with a “short, sharp” Select Committee stage.

 

There will be some exceptions to the MSSA ban; including for legitimate business use, pest control, and for firearms used for duck hunting.

 

Further reforms were signalled, but are yet to be specified.

 

In the interim, the government also announced a gun amnesty, and action to prevent stockpiling. The development of a buyback scheme was also highlighted.

 

The current Bill has near-full support in Parliament, with National Party Leader Simon Bridges declaring that he would support the proposed reforms.

 

The Bill will likely be passed by the end of this week.

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