NZ took just 6 days to ban semi-automatic assault rifles
Just hours after more than 100 people in Christchurch were injured or killed in a brutal anti-Muslim hate crime, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand's gun laws would be changed.
Six days later, New Zealand banned military-style semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines. The move had widespread support across the country, including from opposition leaders.
That is what leadership looks like, and we need it here at home.
Tell your members of Congress it's time for them to show leadership. Tell them to take action on gun safety, including passing universal background checks on gun sales as soon as possible, and banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The Christchurch attack was the worst mass shooting in New Zealand history. Its last mass shooting was in more than 20 years ago in 1997.
The 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting was the worst in United States history, with 58 people shot to death, and another 851 injured. The United States suffered more than 300 mass shootings in 2018 alone.
With guns taking nearly 40,000 lives in the United States annually, we are in the throes of a gun violence epidemic. Our lack of leadership on gun safety is literally killing tens of thousands of people. Our families and communities are being devastated. We need leadership now!
Tell your members of Congress to follow New Zealand's example. They must act to reduce America's gun violence epidemic, including passing universal background checks on gun sales as soon as possible, and banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
New Zealand's military-style semi-automatic weapons ban also covers high-capacity magazines and any parts and accessories that can be used to convert less-powerful guns into military-style semi-automatic weapons. “Every semiautomatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country,” said Prime Minister Ardern. Remove from the public the weapons the shooter used to commit the worst mass shooting in New Zealand history? It makes so much sense!
In the United States, military-style assault weapons are used in the majority of mass shootings. And the majority of mass shooters obtain their deadly weapons legally due to our lax laws. Comprehensive gun violence policy reform for the United States also makes so much sense, and would save lives!
How much longer can we give our elected leaders free passes for inaction on gun safety as mass shootings occur with increasing regularity and body counts rise, and as gun violence kills or injures close to 100 people every single day in the United States?
It's time for Congress to show leadership by advancing gun safety measures, including passing universal background checks on gun sales as soon as possible, and banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
*Please forward this action link and blog post to everyone you know who is concerned about gun violence, and also post it on social media. The more of us who take action and speak out, the faster we can move gun safety policy forward and save lives. Here’s that action link again for you to share: https://action.momsrising.org/sign/NZleadership_GVP/?source=blog
We are inspired by New Zealand and ready to hold our own leaders accountable for the toll gun violence is taking on our families and communities. Enough is enough.