Assault rifles Current Affairs - 2019

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New Zealand Announces Ban on Military-Style Semi-automatics and Assault Rifles

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. New Zealand has decided to overhaul gun laws in the country in the backdrop of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

It is estimated that there are about 1.2-1.5 million guns in New Zealand which has a population of about 5million people. There were no official data about the number of assault rifles in circulation and there are roughly 13,500 military-style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand.

Christchurch Mosque Shootings

Christchurch mosque shootings refer to two consecutive terrorist attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday Prayer on 15 March 2019. The first attack was at the Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton at 1:40 pm and the second one was at the Linwood Islamic Centre at about 1:55 pm. The attacks were linked to white supremacism and alt-right extremism movements.

New Zealand police are investigating a manifesto, the 28-year-old suspect allegedly wrote and posted on social media shortly before the shooting began. This manifesto espouses far-right and white nationalistic views, specifically targeting Muslims and immigrants and praises mass murderers Dylann Roof, who attacked a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, and Anders Breivik, who killed dozens of young people at a summer camp for Norway’s left-leaning political party.

DAC approves capital acquisitions worth over Rs 15000 crore

The Defence Acquisition Council chaired by Defence Minister has approved capital acquisition of 7.4 lakh assault rifles, 17,000 light machine guns, 5,719 sniper rifles and Mareech advanced torpedo decoy systems for Indian Navy worth Rs. 15,935 crore. DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on procurement.

DAC approval includes

7.4 lakh assault rifles: It will be procured for three Services. These rifles will be ‘Made in India’ under categorisation of ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’, through both the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and private industry at an estimated cost of Rs. 12,280 crore. The assault rifles will be of 7.62mm calibre and carbines of 5.56mm calibre. It will replace the indigenous INSAS rifles.

17,000 light machine guns: It will be procured for three Services through fast-track procedure at over Rs. 1,819 crore.

5,719 sniper rifles: It will procured for Indian Army and Air Force for about Rs. 982 crore. It will be bought in Buy Global category. Its ammunition will be initially procured and subsequently manufactured in India.

Mareech advanced torpedo decoy systems: It will procured for Indian Navy to enhance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of Naval Ships. It has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and has successfully completed extensive trial evaluations. The systems will be produced by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), Bengaluru, at an estimated cost of Rs.850 crore.