Just six days since the terrorist attack in Christchurch New Zealand that resulted in the death of 50 people, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced all military-style weapons would be banned in the country. Democrats are uplifting Ardern’s decision as an example for the United States.
“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too,” Ardern said at a press conference Wednesday.
“It’s about all of us, it’s in the national interest, and it’s about safety.”
Watch the video below:
She promised changes to her country's gun laws
And she delivered.
Defending the ban, NZ PM @jacindaardern said: "It's about all of us, it's about safety and to prevent an act of terror happening in our country ever again." https://t.co/v2NAqrEKMg pic.twitter.com/5Ev8ULzJxu
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 21, 2019
Democratic lawmakers have been trying to change gun laws for years, but have been met with pushback from Republicans and the NRA. Most recently, the Democratic-controlled House passed H.R.8 to require background checks for firearms purchases. The Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to pick up the legislation.
“Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted Wednesday night.
“Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market. This is what leadership looks like.”
Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8.
Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market.
This is what leadership looks like ⬇️ https://t.co/TcdR63anBt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 21, 2019
New Zealand’s new law is set to take effect mid-April and will effectively ban all military-style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles, all high capacity magazines, and all accessories used to convert weapons into MSSAs.
Last week’s mass shooter killed 50 people with an MSSA.
“This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like,” 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted Wednesday.
“We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.”
This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand's lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States. https://t.co/lSAisDG9Ur
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 21, 2019
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted out Prime Minister Ardern’s announcement and simply commented, “See. It’s not that hard.”
See. It’s not that hard. https://t.co/6nTAYmHjnb
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 21, 2019
Gun control advocates were also pleased with the decision. Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter in the 2018 Parkland, Florida school shooting, praised Ardern for her leadership.
Wow!!! This is leadership. https://t.co/Jqy4hNDgN4
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) March 21, 2019
Meanwhile, Republicans won’t bring the bipartisan-passed H.R. 8 to a vote on the Senate floor. “These bills turn law-abiding citizens into criminals and it is one more step towards federalized gun registration and ultimately gun confiscation,” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) told reporters.