On September 12, New Zealand’s government has announced that it plans to implement more restrictions on gun ownership. The decision comes six months after 51 people were assassinated at the two Christchurch mosques by a gunman in a spontaneous attack. The New Zealand government will introduce a bill on Friday that would require official documentation of all the guns and weapons in the country, along with the registered gun owners.
The bill would also track the renewal of the gun licenses by the gun owners every five years instead of 10 years. It would likewise put new duties on specialists to inform police in the event that they accept a weapon proprietor who shouldn't have a permit because of concern over the owner’s psychological well-being. It is believed that the legislation will be approved by the end of 2019, as suggested by the government lawmakers.
The proposed measures came after New Zealand in April raced through enactment to ban assault weapons, for example, AR-15 style rifles. The administration has propelled a buyback plan to repay gun owners for the prohibited outlawed semi-automatics and has so far gathered around 19,000 weapons and 70,000 parts. The weapon buyback and a parallel gun amnesty will keep running until December. The focus still remains on preventing any kind of future attack like the March 15 Christchurch massacre, as promised by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. She also added the attack uncovered the shortcomings in weapon laws and hence it was the responsibility of the legislation to fix the same.
In a statement, Ardern told the media that, "We absolutely recognize there is a legitimate need in our communities to be able to access guns, particularly our rural community." She further added, "But what these changes do is recognize that actually there’s a real responsibility that comes with gun ownership."
Ardern has recently pointed out that New Zealand has an alternate view on weapons than the US, where gun possession is viewed as a constitutional right and is interpreted by many individuals to be a defence against potential government overreach. Ardern on Friday told media that, “Owning a firearm is a privilege, not a right”.
Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, a white nationalist, has argued not guilty to terrorism, murder, and attempt to murder allegations following the March assaults. He is still in jail ahead of his trial procedure. This week the concerned judge in the case agreed to delay the start of the trial as requested by the prosecutor. The request was made to avoid any kind of clash with the auspicious month of Ramadan. The defence lawyers did not raise any objections for the delay as a lot of witnesses were Muslim, so Judge Cameron Mander agreed to the plea.