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New Zealand passes gun law banning high-powered rifles

“That includes a five year old girl at Starship in Auckland, and her father in the hospital next door.

“One patient remains in intensive care in Christchurch Hospital. Others are at Burwood.”

He said that the legislation is just the first step of many to “make our country safer”.

Nash also made mention of law-abiding gun owners.

“There are good people in all of our communities who will find themselves in possession of banned firearms, parts and magazines.

“This is because we are changing the law, not because these people have done anything wrong.”

All MPs voted in favour of the bill, except ACT’s David Seymour who had said there hadn’t been enough consultation with the public.

Earlier in the day Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reflected on her hospital visit to victims of the mosque shootings.

Ardern, who was the first to speak during the reading of the bill, said she was proud of the work that had been done to get the bill passed.

“We are ultimately here because 50 people died and they do not have a voice. We in this house are their voice. Today we can use that voice wisely.”

She told the House the weapons used in the Christchurch terror attack were designed to kill.

When she visited the hospital, not one victim had just one gunshot wound, she said.

“I struggle to recall any single gunshot wounds. In every case they spoke of multiple injuries, multiple debilitating injuries that deemed it impossible for them to recover in days, let alone weeks. They will carry disabilities for a lifetime and that’s before you consider the psychological impact. We are here for them.”

She recalled how after the attack she spoke to the Police Commissioner and how he described to her the nature of the attack that had occurred, the nature of the weapons that had been used – and that they had been obtained legally.

“I could not fathom how weapons that could cause such destruction and large scale death, could be obtained legally in this country.”

Straight after that she made the decision to ban the weapons, knowing parliament would be with her, she said.

“We are here just 26 days after the most devastating terrorist attacks created the darkest of days in New Zealand’s history,” she said.

“We are here as an almost entirely united Parliament … there have been very few occasions when I have seen Parliament come together in this way and I can not imagine circumstances where that is more necessary than it is now.”

She had heard a minority argument about process.

“My question here is simple. You either believe that here in New Zealand that these weapons have a place or you do not. If you believe, like us, that they do not, you should be able to believe we can move swiftly.

“An argument about process is an argument to do nothing.”

The law was not demonising legitimate use of firearms and she took the feedback as an endorsement that fair and legitimate use had been acknowledged and responded to within the new law, she said.

She also acknowledged the buyback scheme for compensation, which would be worked up over the next few weeks.

“We will operate fairly.”

National’s police spokesman Chris Bishop spoke on behalf of National in support of the bill and wanted to acknowledge the Prime Minister for her remarks and her leadership in the hours and days following the shooting.

“I have received many comments in the last few weeks around your leadership. I think all of New Zealand has been impressed by your steadfastness in time of great trial for our country.”

Earlier, during the final stages, before the third reading, Bishop tabled amendments on Firearm Prohibition Orders and international sporting competitions, which National would like to have seen included in the bill.

He was outvoted and said he hoped they could still be considered during the second tranche of gun laws.

Stuff.co.nz

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