At a dramatic press conference on Thursday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden stated: “Today I am announcing that New Zealand will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons.” The ban will apply to all firearms that are now defined as military-style semi-automatics (MSSAs) and will also include assault rifles and shotguns. Specifically, those with a detachable magazine which holds more than five cartridges. The changes are to take effect immediately. “Anyone who now unlawfully has an MSSA, which yesterday was a lawful firearm, needs to take steps to comply with the law.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D) praised Ardern’s announcement tweeting “Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8. Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market. This is what leadership looks like.”
Senator Bernie Sanders (D) also tweeted his support of Jacinda Arden’s announcement writing, “This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.”
Dana Loesch, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the US, responded to Sanders on Twitter saying Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense. “The US isn’t NZ. While they (New Zealanders) do not have an inalienable right to bear arms and to self-defense, we do.”
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