New Zealand’s Gun Control

Jaron Cole, Staff Writer

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On Friday, March 15, 2019, the country of New Zealand witnessed first hand at what true evil looks like.

A white supremacist by the name of Brenton Tarrant decided to shoot up two mosques, the Masjid al Noor and Linwood Masjid, in the city of Christchurch. Tarrant took the lives of 50 people and injured 50 more. The victims spanned generations and nationalities. Within days of the horrific incident, the prime minister of New Zealand stated that the countries gun laws and regulations will change immediately.

As of right now gun owners do need a license to own a firearm but aren’t required to register the weapon. The legal age to own a firearm is 16 years old.  According to the New Zealand police department, there are approximately 1.2 million firearms circulating through the country and most are illegal.

Police themselves aren’t routinely armed all the time. Most officers prefer to be armed but proceed to be compliant with the nation’s laws. The yearly homicide average is 35. Friday’s incident was near twice the yearly average. The drastic increase has caused the Prime Minister to push towards stricter gun laws.

As of now New Zealand’s gun laws and gun registry are way more sophisticated than the US. The process takes months to finally get a license but only after going under a full investigation involving background checks on criminal records, mental health, government interviews, house inspections, and gun safety course. The new methods being introduced will provide more thorough investigations and less access to certain weaponry and ammunition.

 The Prime Minister and government hope to issue these new laws within the next couple of months. 

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