Wellington: Military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned under stronger new gun laws announced by the New Zealand government on Thursday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the gun law reforms at a press conference, New Zealand Herald reported.

The government has banned the weapons less than a week after a shooter opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, killing 50 people, and injuring 50 others.

The country’s rules around guns have been in the spotlight since last Friday’s mosque shootings in Christchurch.

Attorney-General David Parker said over the weekend that semi-automatic guns would be banned and 70,000 people have signed a petition against these types of weapons.

As many as 50 people were killed in a lone wolf attack by an Australian, named Brenton Tarrant, who gunned down Muslims praying in mosques on Friday, March 15.

There were five Indians among the 50 people killed by the white supremacist terrorist, who opened fire on worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch.

Tarrant live-streamed his gruesome act on Facebook for 17 minutes and police believe that the accused had single-handedly carried out the terror attack at both the mosques under a span of 36 minutes during the Friday prayers for which a large number of worshippers had congregated.

Using automatic weapons, the 28-year-old gunman launched a “well-planned” attack on the mosques when devotees had assembled for the weekly prayers, following which mosques across the country were advised to shut down.

Condemning the terror strikes, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had described the attack as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” and said it “appears to have been well planned”. She asserted that the country “will not and cannot be shaken” by the attack.

 

With inputs from agencies