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New Zealand's new gun law takes effect

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-04-12 09:05

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks about changes in gun laws in Wellington, New Zealand, March 21, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

WELLINGTON - New Zealand's new gun law officially took effect on Friday less than a month after the terror attacks on Christchurch mosques which killed 50 people.

Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy signed the law on Thursday night, which was the final step before it becomes law.

The New Zealand parliament passed the bill after its third or the final reading on Wednesday night. In acordance with the new gun law, possessing military-style semi-automatics (MSSAs) and assault rifles and associated parts will be illegal.

The new gun bill, namely the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and parts) Amendment Bill, won overwhelming support in the parliament as it was passed by a vote of 119 to 1.

Possession of prohibited firearms could face a jail term up to five years, according to the bill.

The New Zealand government had vowed to ban MSSAs soon after the Christchurch terrorist attacks on March 15, which also injured 50 others.

The New Zealand government has also announced that a legal framework for the gun buyback will be established.

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