Saturday July 4th, 2020 1:40AM

New Zealand's new gun laws get final assent to take effect

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's governor general on Thursday formally signed into effect sweeping gun laws outlawing military style weapons, less than a month after a man used such guns to kill 50 people and wound dozens at two mosques in Christchurch.

Governor General Patsy Reddy signed the bill as police said a gun buyback program will be announced to collect the now-banned weapons. The weapons will be illegal starting at midnight, but police said a brief amnesty program will be in effect until details of the buyback are announced.

"For people who find themselves now in possession of a prohibited firearm, we ask you to please notify us," Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Clement said. "The collection of firearms will occur at a later stage. "

He added that "for now, there is an amnesty in place and we ask people to please notify us," he added.

Anyone who retains such a weapon now faces a penalty of up to five years in prison. Exemptions allow heirloom weapons held by collectors or weapons used for professional pest control.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed by a final vote of 119 to 1 legislation banning the weapons after an accelerated process of debate and public submission.

"The Government acted quickly to change New Zealand's firearms laws and Police is now responsible for implementing and enforcing these new laws," Clement said.

Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, was charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder. The royal commission set up to investigate issues surrounding the massacre is examining how he obtained a gun license in New Zealand and purchased weapons and ammunition.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke emotionally during the bill's final reading of the traumatic injuries suffered by victims of the March 15 attack, whom she visited in Christchurch Hospital after the shootings.

"I struggle to recall any single gunshot wounds," Ardern said. "In every case they spoke of multiple injuries, multiple debilitating injuries that deemed it impossible for them to recover in days, let alone weeks. They will carry disabilities for a lifetime, and that's before you consider the psychological impact. We are here for them."

"I could not fathom how weapons that could cause such destruction and large-scale death could be obtained legally in this country," she said.

Ardern, who has won international praise for her compassion and leadership since the shootings, was able to win rare bipartisan support for a bill that makes it illegal to own a military-style semi-automatic rifle. The only dissent was from the libertarian ACT Party's lone lawmaker in Parliament.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump's Golan move causes concern in Lebanon for land owners
Trump's move to recognize Israel's sovereignty over Golan sets off Lebanon worries over its claim to disputed territory
2:26AM ( 7 minutes ago )
New Zealand's new gun laws get final assent to take effect
New Zealand's governor general has signed into effect sweeping gun laws outlawing military style weapons weeks after a man used such guns to kill 50 people at mosques in Christchurch
2:26AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Geoffrey Rush wins case against Sydney newspaper publisher
Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has won his defamation case against a Sydney newspaper publisher and journalist over reports he had been accused of inappropriate behavior toward an actress
2:21AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
AG Barr: 'I think spying did occur' against Trump campaign
Attorney General William Barr says he thinks "spying did occur" against Donald Trump's presidential campaign
1:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
Mnuchin postpones decision on handing over Trump tax returns
Wednesday has come and gone without the Treasury Department delivering President Donald Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee chairman
12:54AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Interview: Pelosi called Trump to discuss infrastructure
One day last week, amid fallout over the Trump-Russia probe, Speaker Nancy Pelosi dialed up the president and requested a meeting
12:41AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Ribbon cutting a last act for ousted Trump DHS officials
On her last day as Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen gathered employees for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility
11:51PM ( 2 hours ago )
Barr says 'I think spying did occur' against Trump campaign
Attorney General William Barr declared Wednesday he thinks "spying did occur" against Donald Trump's presidential campaign
11:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
Bomb cyclone storm hammering central US, disrupting travel
Bomb cyclone storm hammering central US, disrupting travel raising concerns of renewed flooding in the already drenched Midwest
11:38PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Inslee: Forget impeaching Trump. Voting him out is better.
Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee says his party should scrap any thoughts of impeaching President Donald Trump and instead focus on voting him out of office in 2020
12:26AM ( 2 hours ago )
Harris gets 1st Iowa endorsement from Democratic activist
Kamala Harris endorsed by Iowa Democratic Party Women's Caucus chair
12:12AM ( 2 hours ago )
Inslee: Forget impeaching Trump. A 2020 defeat is better.
Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee says his party should scrap any thoughts of impeaching President Donald Trump and instead focus on voting him out of office in 2020
11:19PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: EU, Britain agree to extend Brexit until Oct. 31
European Union leaders and Britain have agreed to allow Britain to extend Brexit until Oct. 31
8:10PM ( 6 hours ago )
Arkansas governor to sign anti-'sanctuary cities' bill
Arkansas' Republican governor says he'll sign legislation cutting off funding to "sanctuary cities" despite his objections that the measure could open the door to racial profiling
7:55PM ( 6 hours ago )
Democrats want feds to target the 'black box' of AI bias
Congress is starting to show interest in prying open the "black box" of tech companies' artificial intelligence much the same way the federal government checks under car hoods and audits banks
7:51PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Dalai Lama recovering fast from chest infection
The Dalai Lama has almost recovered from a chest infection and likely to leave a New Delhi hospital in a day
12:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
Wife of Nissan ex-exec Ghosn to be questioned in Tokyo court
The wife of Nissan's former Chairman Carlos Ghosn will be questioned Thursday by Japanese prosecutors in a Tokyo court, person familiar with situation tells AP
11:43PM ( 2 hours ago )
Asian shares fall as Fed minutes show data may tweak stance
Asian shares retreat as some Fed officials suggest data may tweak stance
11:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Trump's Golan move causes concern in Lebanon for land owners
Trump's move to recognize Israel's sovereignty over Golan sets off Lebanon worries over its claim to disputed territory
2:26AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Geoffrey Rush wins case against Sydney newspaper publisher
Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has won his defamation case against a Sydney newspaper publisher and journalist over reports he had been accused of inappropriate behavior toward an actress
2:21AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Trick or treat? EU, UK agree to delay Brexit until Halloween
European Union leaders, Britain agree to a Brexit extension that will allow the U.K. to delay its EU departure date until Halloween
2:16AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Sudanese army to deliver 'important statement' amid protests
Sudan state TV says country's military to deliver 'important' statement, raising expectations of president stepping down
2:16AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Nuggets beat Timberwolves 99-95, clinch West's 2nd seed
The Denver Nuggets secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 99-95 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves
2:02AM ( 32 minutes ago )