‘This Is What Leadership Looks Like’: Dems Praise NZ Prime Minister For Ban on Military-Style Weapons

Jacinda Ardern
Edgar Su/Reuters

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:

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.”

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.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted out Prime Minister Ardern’s announcement and simply commented, “See. It’s not that hard.”

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.

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.

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