Military-Style Semi-automatics 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.