New Zealand lawmakers on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of latest gun restrictions in the course of the first stage of a invoice they hope to hurry into legislation by the top of subsequent week.
The invoice would ban the forms of weapons a gunman used to kill 50 individuals at two mosques final month.
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The invoice was backed by each liberals and conservatives, with solely a single lawmaker from the 120 that sit in Parliament voting in opposition to it. The vote was the primary of three that lawmakers should move earlier than the invoice turns into legislation.
Police Minister Stuart Nash mentioned far too many individuals have entry to harmful weapons and lawmakers have been pushed by the necessity to guarantee public security.
“We’re additionally pushed by the reminiscence of 50 males, girls and youngsters who have been taken from their family members on the 15th of March,” Nash mentioned. “Their reminiscence is our accountability. We don’t ever wish to see an assault like this in our nation once more. We’re compelled to behave rapidly.”
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Seemingly drawing a distinction with the U.S., the place gun possession is constitutionally protected, Nash mentioned that in New Zealand, gun possession stays a privilege and never a proper.
Conservative lawmaker David Seymour voted in opposition to the invoice, saying it was too rushed.
“Doing it in 9 days earlier than politicians go on their Easter break is beginning to look extra like political theater than public security,” he mentioned.
However Seymour was so busy explaining to reporters his causes for opposing the invoice that he missed a procedural vote by which he might have tried to sluggish its passage.
Many New Zealanders have been shocked on the firepower the gunman was capable of legally acquire and favor the legislative adjustments.
Some are opposed. Greater than 14,000 have signed a petition filed in Parliament which says the legislation adjustments are “unjust” for law-abiding residents and are being pushed by feelings.
The invoice would ban “military-style” semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. It might additionally ban semi-automatic shotguns that might be fitted with removable magazines and pump-action shotguns that may maintain greater than 5 rounds.
The invoice wouldn’t ban weapons usually utilized by farmers and hunters, together with semi-automatic .22-caliber or smaller weapons that maintain as much as 10 rounds, or shotguns that maintain as much as 5 rounds.