New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern urges locals to surrender their semi-automatic weapons

Jacinda Ardern is encouraging Kiwis to give up and surrender their semi-automatic weapons via a voluntary amnesty while the government works on making changes to its gun laws.


                            New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern urges locals to surrender their semi-automatic weapons

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that NZ will be tightening its gun laws in the wake of the deadly mass shooting which took place in two mosques in Christchurch leaving around 50 people dead. 

Jacinda Ardern is encouraging Kiwis to give up and surrender their semi-automatic weapons via a voluntary amnesty while the government works on making changes to its gun laws, reports Daily Mail. Ardern shared with reporters on Monday, "To make our community safer, the time to act is now." These changes follow alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant's rampage where he used five guns including two semiautomatic rifles, a lever-action firearm, and two shotguns and stormed into two mosques killing worshippers inside. 

Jacinda Ardern vows to have gun laws reformed within the next ten days (Source: Getty Images)
Jacinda Ardern vows to have gun laws reformed within the next ten days (Source: Getty Images)

New Zealand's cabinet is in agreement to change gun laws and the proposed changes will be made known before the cabinet meets next week. It is speculated that semi-automatic rifles will be banned in New Zealand while gun owners will be subject to much more strict and tight registration requirements. Ardern shared, "There are details to work through. These aren't simple areas of law, so that's simply what we'll be taking the time to get right."

"You can surrender your gun to the police at any time," Ardern said at her weekly post-Cabinet press conference. "I've seen reports that people are in fact already doing this. I applaud that effort and if you're thinking about surrendering your weapon, I would encourage you to do so."

The deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters also endorsed the plan and revealed, "At 1 pm on the 15th of March our world changed forever, and so will our gun laws. New Zealand had previously changed its gun laws in 1992 post the Aramoana massacre which resulted in 13 people being shot dead in a small township near Dunedin after a neighborhood dispute and feud. Background checks, as well as special permits, had been introduced around 26 years ago though NZ still does not have a national gun registry. 

Police stand outside a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed during shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Police stand outside a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed during shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The most recent attack saw a gunman who identified himself as Australian man Brenton Tarrant, 28, filming himself driving to the mosque listening to music with half-a-dozen weapons on the floor of his vehicle. Tarrant also posted a 73-page manifesto to Twitter before the killings, describing them as a 'terrorist attack'. Australia had also banned any automatic and semi-automatic assault rifles after the Port Arthur massacre which took place in Tasmania and resulted in the death of 35 people. 

Post the sickening attack, Ardern spoke in a conference on Friday and said, "It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack." She further explained how New Zealand had been targeted as it "represents the values of diversity, kindness, compassion." She shared, "We a home for those who share our values and a refuge for those who need it. And those values I can assure you will not and cannot be shaken by this attack."