This week, we changed New Zealand’s gun laws.
Just 26 days after the most devastating terrorist attack in our nation’s history, we banned military style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles.
To the members of police, who worked with us to get these weapons out of our communities;
To you – New Zealanders, for coming out in your thousands to support the victims, their families, and each other;
To those Members of Parliament, including our governing partners, and the Opposition, who came together as a united front;
New Zealand is safer, because of you.
Watch the Police Minister's speech from the House here.
The amnesty and buyback
With the passing of the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill, there will be people who own firearms, parts, and magazines that are now banned.
This is because the law has changed – not because they have done anything wrong. We want to make it safe and easy for those people to hand over any prohibited weapons. Over 300 weapons have already been handed back to police.
If you have a weapon to hand over, store it securely and notify Police via the online web form or the 0800 311311. If you want more information about what the new law means take a look at this video from police.
There is more to do
Passing the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill was a first step.
The Government will now look at a gun register, the licensing regime, the system of Police vetting, and the ‘fit and proper person’ test as well as storage requirements and penalties.
Work has begun on an Arms Amendment No. 2 Bill, which we hope to see around June.
As we move forward, we must remember why we are here. Fifty men, women and children were killed. Their families are grieving. They are not forgotten, this is for them. They are us.