New Zealand announces a gun clampdown

Mar 21, 2019

NEW ZEALAND’S prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced on March 21st that her government would ban “military-style” semi-automatic weapons, such as those used by a white supremacist to kill 50 people in Christchurch last week. The parliament must still rubber-stamp the changes when it reconvenes next month, but both Ms Ardern’s coalition partners and the main opposition party have pledged their support. She called the country’s laws until now “a blueprint for what not to do” on gun control. The killer appears to have easily obtained five guns legally, including a pair of semi-automatic weapons. Four of those were purchased online from the country’s biggest gun store.

The government estimates that there are 13,500 military-style semi-automatic weapons in the country. Their owners will have to surrender them after legislation comes into effect. The Christchurch assailant avoided police attention by purchasing two lower-grade semi-automatic guns, which he fitted out with...

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