FILE - In this April 2, 2019, file photo, police acting superintendent Mike McIlraith shows New Zealand lawmakers in Wellington, an AR-15 style rifle similar to one of the weapons a gunman used to slaughter 51 people at two Christchurch mosques. Six months after the gunman killed 51 people, New Zealand's government is planning further restrictions to gun ownership. A bill introduced to Parliament on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 would create a register to track all the guns in the country and require gun owners to renew their gun licenses every five years instead of every 10. (AP Photo/Nick Perry, File)
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New Zealand plans further restrictions to gun ownership

19 Comments
By NICK PERRY

Six months after a gunman killed 51 people at two Christchurch mosques, New Zealand's government is planning further restrictions to gun ownership.

A bill introduced to Parliament on Friday would create a register to track all the guns in the country and require gun owners to renew their gun licenses every five years instead of every 10. It would also place new responsibilities on doctors to notify police if they believe a gun owner shouldn't have a license due to concerns over the owner's mental health.

The government hopes lawmakers will approve the legislation by the end of the year.

The proposed measures come after New Zealand in April rushed through legislation to ban assault weapons such as AR-15 style rifles.

The government has launched a buyback scheme to compensate gun owners for the outlawed semi-automatics, and has so far collected about 19,000 weapons and 70,000 parts. The gun buyback and a parallel gun amnesty run until December.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters in Christchurch the focus remained on preventing another attack like the one on March 15. She said the attack exposed weaknesses in gun laws, which the government was fixing.

"We absolutely recognize there is a legitimate need in our communities to be able to access guns, particularly our rural community," Ardern said. "But what these changes do is recognize that actually there's a real responsibility that comes with gun ownership."

Ardern has previously made the point that New Zealand has a different view on guns than the U.S., where gun ownership is seen as a constitutional right and is interpreted by many to be a defense against potential government overreach.

"Owning a firearm is a privilege not a right," Ardern said on Friday.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist, has pleaded not guilty to terrorism, murder and attempted murder charges following the March attacks. He remains in jail ahead of his trial.

The judge in the case this week agreed to a request by prosecutors to delay the start of the trial by a month until next June to avoid a clash with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Judge Cameron Mander noted that many of the witnesses are Muslim and that defense lawyers hadn't raised any objections to the delay.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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Seems fair

2 ( +6 / -4 )

A bill introduced to Parliament on Friday would create a register to track all the guns in the country

Gun registry is in Australia BUT the only guns that are registered by law abiding citizens, police have admitted that there large numbers of guns in the hands of criminals that are unregistered - basically its a waste of time.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

So sorry but I oppose and have my own ideas about guns. My country was literally founding on opposing the ruling government. Deal with it.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

@Andrew Crisp so it was a waste of time really you cant be serious can you?

Are there still mass shootings happening there in Auz now since Port Arthur and the buy back?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Andrew CrispToday  03:47 pm JST

Gun registry is in Australia BUT the only guns that are registered by law abiding citizens, police have admitted that there large numbers of guns in the hands of criminals that are unregistered - basically its a waste of time.

If they impose that you need to show gun permits every time you buy bullets then black market for bullets skyrocket forcing the criminals to think before they shoot.

You can control the usage of guns through the power of economy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My country was literally founding on opposing the ruling government. Deal with it.

And look at it now. Almost one mass shooting per day. Fantastic.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Hardly a serious hunting firearm.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A country with common sense.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Filthy devices.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Gun registry is in Australia BUT the only guns that are registered by law abiding citizens, police have admitted that there large numbers of guns in the hands of criminals that are unregistered - basically its a waste of time.

No.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

And look at it now. Almost one mass shooting per day. Fantastic.

In another post I explained my opinion in more detail. It vanished. I will just tell you that it is possible to disagree with both the American way and the New Zealand way, and I do. As I said in my post that remains "I..... HAVE MY OWN IDEAS ABOUT GUNS." My country is indeed the U.S. and American handling of gun control is abysmal and embarrassing, no question. However, if New Zealanders find themselves throwing rocks when their government goes bad, it will be their own fault for acquiescing.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

when their government goes bad

The 'tyranny' argument. I think it's a fair one. But what is happening now in America is a trade-off between the remote chance of that ever happening, and the very real loss of innocent life, including school kids. I think NZ's response so far has been a fair one;

The government has launched a buyback scheme to compensate gun owners for the outlawed semi-automatics, and has so far collected about 19,000 weapons and 70,000 parts. The gun buyback and a parallel gun amnesty run until December.

What do you propose, splitting the difference between that and America's response, which so far has been to do very little, if anything?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It always begins with a list. Once there is a list, that's when they come for you.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Good.

So will we. Under the 2nd Amendment. Y'know, the part that says a WELL REGULATED militia.

Well regulated means just that: WELL REGULATED!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

GOOD, VERY GOOOOD !!!.. Like a real decent, humanitarian, civilized and FIRST WORLD COUNTRY must do !!.. Not like the happytrigger white supremacist wild Trumpland !!..

"Owning a firearm is a privilege not a right,"

Learn that !!.. Arrogant, pseudo-christian hapytrigger republicans !!.. Your stupid 2nd amendment in a killing farse !!..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ters always statistics saying how guns kill people but never how many people been saved.

All i know is my wife and I felt a lot safer with a gun under the bed.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

All i know is my wife and I felt a lot safer with a gun under the bed.

How will you feel if a child injures themselves or someone else with that gun?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All i know is my wife and I felt a lot safer with a gun under the bed.

My wife and I feel perfectly safe without one. You know why? Sensible, mature attitudes towards gun-control in our country of residence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Owning a firearm is a privilege not a right,"

That is true in NZ.

Not true in the USA where it is a right on the same level as freedom of speech (which NZ doesn't have).

Keeping a gun under a bed is a terrible idea, especially if it is loaded, if there is any chance that a house guest, or their kids, might gain access to it. Trigger lock and/or gun safe, please.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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