NZ bans military type semi-automatic weapons used in mosque massacre

NZ bans military type semi-automatic weapons used in mosque massacre

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for the nation to observe two minutes of silence on Friday and said the call to prayer would be broadcast live by the state-owned radio and television in a show of support for the Muslim community.

High-capacity magazines and parts used to convert other weapons into the banned guns are also banned under the new laws, which PM Jacinda Ardern expects to take effect by April 11.

Ardern said the sales ban was effective immediately to prevent stockpiling and would be followed by a complete ban on the weapons after new laws were rushed through.

The gun prohibition includes semi-automatic guns or shotguns that can be used with a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds. It quoted Detective Superintendent Chris Page as saying the error did not affect the validity or legality of the prosecution.

"I can't emphasize enough that in the current environment it is important you do not take your now-unlawful firearm anywhere without notifying police", Bush said. "It makes me really happy to be able to say that I'm a New Zealander", he added.

Imam Gamal Fouda said he is expecting 3,000 to 4,000 people at Friday's prayer service, including many who have come from overseas.

Security firm Transguard said the worker had made "inflammatory comments" on his personal Facebook account after the attack.

For the guns that are still out there, Ardern announced a buyback scheme that will cost between Nz$100 million and $200 million (between US$69 million and $139 million), depending on the number of weapons received.

A policewoman is seen as people attend the burial ceremony of a victim of the mosque attacks, at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch, New Zealand March 21, 2019. There are plans to bury the blood-soaked carpet on which so many people died.

On Friday, a gunman opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, killing 50 worshippers, including children.

Ardern said legal owners of banned weapons will have the opportunity to get "fair and reasonable compensation" through a buyback program.

"Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here", Ardern said.

The bullet-riddled Al Noor mosque in Christchurch was being repaired, painted and cleaned ahead of Friday prayers, as grieving families buried more victims.

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