New Zealand changes gun laws following mosque shooting that killed 50


Erica Schindler

Shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in on Friday, Mar. 15 left 50 people dead and another 50 injured. The mosques, located in Christchurch, New Zealand and surrounding suburbs, were attacked starting at around 1:40.
The gunman was a 28-year-old white Australian man who is a white supremacist and member of the ‘alt-right’. His motives for the deadly attack included Islamophobia. He was arrested and is being charged with murder.
The attack was immediately condemned by leaders around the world, many of whom acknowledged the link between the attack and the growing problem of white supremacy around the world. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, called the attacks, ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days.’
72 hours after the attack, New Zealand’s cabinet agreed to change their gun laws. Ardern announced that military-style semi-automatic weapons, like the kind used in the attack, will be banned in the country. Assault rifles and high-capacity magazines are also included in the ban.
This swift legislative action has prompted calls for the United States to pass gun reform legislation similar to New Zealand’s, given the mass shootings the United States has also experienced. For many Americans, stricter gun control would be a step in the right direction but others are strongly opposed to it.