New Zealand Vows To Make ‘Our Country A Safer Place’, Bans All Assault Weapons In Sharp Contrast To U.S. Lawmakers
It only took six days since New Zealand's largest massacre for the government to change gun ownership laws. But the country's constitution does not guarantee the right to own a gun and the gun lobby isn't as strong as in the U.S., where efforts to change laws have been mostly at the state level.
New Zealand Bans All Assault Weapons In Response To Mosque Attacks
New Zealand will ban military-style semiautomatics and assault rifles, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday, six days after attacks on two mosques in Christchurch that left 50 people dead. "On 15 March, our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too," Ardern said. "We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place." (Fifield, 3/20)
Los Angeles Times:
As U.S. Struggles To Pass Modest Gun Curbs, New Zealand Swiftly Bans Assault Weapons
The quick action was a stark contrast to the slow pace of making gun legislation in the United States. Firearms are part of the culture in both countries. New Zealand has 4.7 million people and 1.5 million guns, and the U.S. has 328 million people and between 265 million and 393 million guns. But when it comes to gun laws, there are some big differences. Most importantly, New Zealand’s constitution does not guarantee the right to own a gun. And though the gun lobby is influential in both countries, it is stronger in the U.S. “There is a lot of energy in the days after a mass shooting in America, but it tends to wane pretty quickly,” said John Donohue, a law professor at Stanford University who teaches on gun policy. (Kaleem, 3/21)