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New Zealand tightens gun laws post terror attack
New Zealand tightens gun laws post terror attack

Wellington, July 23 (TIWN) New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday announced a new range of legislative measures toughening requirements to obtain and keep a firearms license as the country is still attempting to heal from March's traumatic terror attack in which 51 people were killed.

New Zealand's government said on Monday that it wanted to implement sweeping gun law reform, in the second measure to tighten firearm rules following a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch in March.  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the law would aim to create a national gun and license holder register, ban visitors from buying guns and tighten rules on obtaining and maintaining a firearms license.  Other planks of the reform would establish new licensing for around 260 shooting clubs and ranges, expand police powers to confiscate weapons if an individual shows warning signs, and require a license to purchase ammunition.  Under the law, firearms licenses would have to be renewed every five years instead of 10. 

"The terror attack on March 15 highlighted the flaws in our licensing system," Ardern said. "The changes announced today have been decades in the making. It is now up to this parliament to deliver in the interests of public and personal safety."  The reform would also establish that owning a firearm is a privilege that requires safety, not a right.

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