New Zealand PM, Jacinda Ardern Gets Standing Ovation At Christchurch Memorial (BBC)
New Zealand PM, Jacinda Ardern Gets Standing Ovation At Christchurch Memorial (BBC)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has banned military-style semi-automatic rifles following the shootings in March but said further restrictions were needed to target the black market.

On Friday, New Zealand introduced new legislation aimed at ensuring only “fit and proper” people can own guns.

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“Owning a firearm is a privilege not a right,” she said.

“That means we need to do all we can to ensure that only honest, law-abiding citizens are able to obtain firearms licenses and use firearms.”

Under the new legislation, a registry will be instituted that is designed to track ownership of every legally owned firearm in the country.

This measure will also increase the jail term for supplying firearms to an unlicensed person from three months to two years, as well as tightening gun importation and sales.

Police will determine if someone is “fit and proper” to hold a license, with power to exclude anyone promoting extremism, convicted of violent crime or with mental health.

The register, expected to take five years to complete, will contain details of the estimated 1.2 million firearms in New Zealand, for a population of around five million.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said the existing gun legislation was introduced in 1983 and needed to be updated.

In addition to the semi-automatic ban, the first round of gun law reforms included a firearms buyback scheme allowing the public to hand in weapons before a six-month amnesty expires.