New Zealand PM acts to tighten gun laws

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on September 13, 2019 - Duration: 01:26s

New Zealand PM acts to tighten gun laws

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced a new bill to parliament on Friday that aims to further tighten gun laws, as the country marks six months since the mass shooting in Christchurch that killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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New Zealand PM acts to tighten gun laws

It's been six months since a gunman opened fire in Christchurch, killing 51 worshippers as they attended Friday (September 13) prayers.

Now - New Zealand's prime minister is reaffirming a commitment to tighten gun laws.

On Friday, Ardern introduced a second set of reforms, after weak firearm laws were identified as a key reason why such a deadly attack was able to be carried out on New Zealand soil.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, JACINDA ARDERN, SAYING: "That attack exposed weaknesses in legislation which we have the power to fix.

We would not be a responsible government if we did not address them." The government had near-unanimous support in parliament when it earlier passed a law banning military style semi-automatics.

The new bill will include the creation of a registry to monitor and track every firearm legally held in New Zealand.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, JACINDA ARDERN, SAYING: "Today the government has also introduced legislation into the house that will help ensure gun ownership is restricted to responsible users and stop the flow of guns into the black market." Ardern has been cheered globally for her heartfelt support for victims, making her into an international icon for peace.

But - months after the attack, criticisms are beginning to mount over a prolonged legal process, and the handling of a government inquiry into the shooting.

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