New Zealand is going to move quickly to ban semi-automatic rifles. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
It follows the massacres at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques on Friday that left at least 49 people dead and 48 injured
Today, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said she plans on reforming gun laws, and the government has already announced it will ban semi-automatic rifles.
Ardern said the proposed reforms will be the focus of a cabinet meeting on Monday. Among them will be an examination of the “ease with which legal weapons can be modified to become military-style assault rifles”.
She told reporters that the guns “appear to have been modified” and said that was “a challenge that we will look to address in changing our laws”.
The New Zealand police commissioner, Mike Bush, said the guns were legally purchased under a “category-A” license, which doesn’t require owners to register their weapons.
The Australian man who was arrested and charged with the massacre is Brenton Tarrant, who has held the license since December 2017. Police say he had five guns, including two semi-automatic rifles and two shotguns.
The sale of normal semi-automatic guns has no restrictions in New Zealand, but those same weapons can only be purchased by licensed professional hunters in Australia, and must be individually imported.
Under Australian law, all guns must be registered to a licensed-gun owner and automatic and semi-automatic weapons are banned.
New Zealand Attorney General David Parker rallied support to ban guns at a vigil in Auckland Aotea Square last night by warning of a global rise in extremism.
“There is a dimming of enlightenment in many parts of the world,” he said.
“How can it be right for this atrocity to be filmed by the murderer using a go-pro and live-streamed across the world by social media companies?
“How can that be right? Who should be held accountable for that?”
Speaking to the media this morning, he stressed that “now was the time for change.”
A total of four people have been arrested in relation to the attack. Police have not yet determined whether two people other people arrested were directly involved in the incident.
“The fourth person who was arrested yesterday was a member of the public who was in a possession of a firearm, but with the intention of assisting police,” Ardern said.
That person had been released, she confirmed. None of the people arrested had a criminal history in either New Zealand or Australia, and none were on watch lists.
Ardern reiterated that New Zealand’s intelligence community and police were focused on extremism of every kind.
“Given global indicators around far-right extremism, our intelligence community has been stepping up their investigations in this area.
“The individual charged with murder had not come to the attention of the intelligence community – nor the police – for extremism.”
Democrats in the United States have seized on the crisis to once again blame President Trump for the problems of the world.
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, who lied about his own service in Vietnam, landed on CNN quickly to attack Trump and his supporters.
“I think it’s more than the president,” he said. “It’s the people who enable him and who fail to stand up to him and speak out. And we’re seeing some glimmers of spine now in the United States Congress, some of my colleagues in the last three votes standing up to him and saying no to his trampling on the Constitution. But it is also more than words. The president has defied Constitutional norms and principles in declaring a national emergency.
“Words have consequences, like saying we have an ‘invasion’ on our border,and talking about people as though they were different in some fatal way. I think the public discourse from the president on down is a factor in some of these actions.”
Blumenthal did not touch on the fact that the 28-year-old white supremacist who livestreamed the slaughter said he hoped the massacre would spark a civil war in the United States.
In a twisted, 74-page manifesto, Tarrant described his anti-immigrant motives for the shooting.
“I had little interest in education during my schooling, barely achieving a passing grade. I did not attend University as I had no great interest in anything offered in the Universities to study,” he writes, adding that he has been working as a “kebab removalist.”
Tarrant posed the question of why he carried out the attack, then listed more than a dozen reasons.
“To most of all show the invaders that our lands will never be their lands, our homelands are our own and that, as long as a white man still lives, they will NEVER conquer our lands and they will never replace our people,” he says.
“To take revenge on the invaders for the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders in European lands throughout history,” he continues.
“To take revenge for the enslavement of millions of Europeans taken from their lands by the Islamic slavers,” he says. “To take revenge for the thousands of European lives lost to terror attacks throughout European lands.”
He says he also wanted “to create conflict between the two ideologies within the United States on the ownership of firearms in order to further the social, cultural, political and racial divide within the United states.
“This conflict over the 2nd amendment and the attempted removal of firearms rights will ultimately result in a civil war that will eventually balkanize the US along political, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines.”
Some have argued that proposed legislation in the United States by Democrats is already quickly moving the country in that direction.
If Democrats get their way, say goodbye to “high capacity magazines”… and a whole slew of guns that are currently legal.
And this time, it’s not just in far left, rogue states like the People’s Republic of Connecticut and California.
The Washington state House Committee on Civil Rights and Judiciary voted to move two pieces of legislation out of committee and onto the House floor for further consideration.
House Bill 1068 was sponsored by Representative Javier Valdez (D-46) and was filed at the request of Attorney General Bob Ferguson. It passed the committee by a vote of 9-6.
If passed and signed into law, this bill would ban the purchase, sell or transfer of high-capacity magazines, which they define as any device that can accommodate more than 10 rounds.
The bill does “grandfather” individuals who lawfully possess said magazines prior to the date on which the law is enacted.
The bill also seeks to limit the usage of high-capacity magazines by those who lawfully possess them. These magazines must be possessed “only on property owned or immediately controlled by the person, or while engaged in lawful use at a duly licensed firing range, or while engaged in lawful outdoor recreational activities, such as hunting, or while traveling to and from these locations…provided that the high-capacity magazine is stored unloaded and in a separate, locked container during transport”.
House Bill 1225 was sponsored by Representative Laurie Jenkins(D-27). This bill would require law enforcement to seize firearms and ammunition when they are called to the scene of an alleged domestic violence incident and hold them for at least 5 days.
In what would seemingly be a complete violation of due process, this bill would also require the owner to go through the process of having to get their property back.
Pursuant to RCW 9.41.345, the owner must go through a process in which the confiscating authority must determine that the owner is eligible to maintain possession of the property.
All documentation regarding the confiscated weapons then be turned over to a judge for review. This documentation is created by separating the alleged victim and the alleged suspect.
Law enforcement will then ask the victim whether the suspect has a concealed carry license, where the weapons and ammunition are in the residence and if he or she has access to other firearms stored in a different location. The law enforcement official can confiscate all firearms and ammunition on the premises and can request to take possession of any items stored at a different location.
Similar legislation has been shot down in the past in Connecticut, of all places, where groups argued this could lead to racial profiling and bias.
The committee also acted on House Bill 1739, rescheduling this vote until next week. This bill, also sponsored by Representative Valdez at the request of the Attorney General, would end a person’s ability to manufacture firearms for personal use.
It also contains provisions that create further addressing of federal laws that bans undetectable firearms. The bill defines ‘undetectable’ as any firearm that does not have enough trace metal to be detected by metal detector.
It’s not the only proposed legislation from Democrats this year.
In January, they put up one of their heftiest attacks on the Second Amendment since 1994, aiming to ban 205 ‘assault weapons’ by name in 2019.
The Democrats introduced the Assault Weapon Ban of 2019 targeting the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of ‘military-style’ weapons.
Guns.com listed the specifics of the bill. ‘The term “assault weapon” would be defined as a semi-automatic with a detachable magazine that included one of a list of cosmetic features that are deemed “military characteristics” such as a threaded barrel, pistol grip or folding stock.’