New Zealand introduces bill to ban automatic firearms used at two mosques attack

New Zealand’s government on Monday introduced legislative bill that would ban most semi-automatic firearms used to kill 50 people at two mosques.

The bill bans “military-style” semi-automatic guns and high-capacity magazines. It also bans semi-automatic shotguns that can be fitted with detachable magazines and pump-action shotguns that can hold more than five rounds.

The bill wouldn’t ban guns often used by farmers and hunters, including semi-automatic .22-calibre or smaller guns that hold up to 10 rounds, or shotguns that hold up to five rounds.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said Monday that if lawmakers pass the bill as expected, the new law will take effect April 12, less than a month after the March 15 attacks. The bill follows a government-imposed ban on sales of the weapons.

The bill also prohibits the sale, import, supply or possession of pump-action shotguns that can be used with detachable magazines or that hold more than five cartridges.

The bill provides amnesty covering the surrender of firearms, magazines and parts through Sept. 30. New Zealand Pm Jacinda Ardern has said the government will create a buyback scheme to compensate owners of banned firearms, a program that could cost up to 200 million New Zealand dollars.

The bill would also impose tougher penalties for people who use the weapons after they are banned. Lawmakers intend to introduce more legislation later in the year, including the creation of a register to track guns

The bill has bipartisan support and could even pass with a unanimous vote of all 120 lawmakers.

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