New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed Monday to reform the country’s gun laws within 10 days of a deadly shooting at two Christchurch mosques that left more than 40 Muslim worshippers dead in an apparent white supremacist attack.
Ardern announced that the cabinet had made “an in principle decision” on new gun regulations at a press conference on Monday, with more details to come by the cabinet’s next meeting on the following Monday.
“I want to also acknowledge, you know, when Australia found itself tragically in a similar position to what we find ourselves now, they took 12 days to make their decision,” Ardern said of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre that led to sweeping gun reform in Australia and a nation-wide buyback plan.
“We have taken 72 hours,” she added. “There is still some detail that needs to be worked through — I want to do that, but still move as quickly as we can.”
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— Bloomberg Australia (@BloombergAU) March 18, 2019
Ardern said the cabinet was “of one mind” on the issue and would move swiftly to enact changes in wake of the massacre.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters signaled his alignment with Ardern on the issue by brushing off a question about his party’s prior opposition to gun reform proposals, saying, “The reality is though that after 1 pm on the 15th of March, our world changed forever — and so will some of our laws.”
Ardern’s comments on Monday came after New Zealand Attorney General David Parker said over the weekend that the nation would enact a ban on semi-automatic weapons, before backtracking and stating that the government had not made a final decision on what new regulations to enact.
“Those decisions have yet to be taken but the prime minister has signaled that we are going to look at that issue.” Parker told Radio New Zealand on Saturday.