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NZ bans semi-automatic and assault rifles after mass shooting

21 March 2019

New Zealand will ban military style semi-automatic and assault rifles under tough new gun laws following the killing of 50 people in the country's worst mass shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday. Ardern said she expects the new laws to be in place by April 11 and a buy-back scheme will be established for banned weapons.

The minimum legal age to own a gun in New Zealand is currently 16, or 18 for military-style semi-automatic weapons (MSSA). New Zealand is a country of less than 5 million people. It has an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million firearms, around 13,500 of them MSSA type weapons.