New Zealand gun laws tightened again after shootings

WELLINGTON (AFP) – New Zealand further tightened its firearms laws yesterday in the wake of the last year’s Christchurch mosques massacre, when a lone gunman murdered 51 people.

Parliament passed legislation to establish a firearms registry to track every gun in the country and ensure only a “fit and proper person” can hold a firearms licence.

It follows a ban on military-style semi-automatic rifles and a nationwide gun buyback enacted shortly after the March 2019 killing spree by Australian national Brenton Tarrant.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said the legislation was an important step in making New Zealand a safer place after last year’s “devastating” killings.

“But it does not define us, what defines us is the actions we took to stop such a terror attack happening again,” he said.

Nash said the registry would finally provide police with data on how many firearms were in legal circulation, while the fit and proper person test would ensure gun owners were responsible enough to own a firearm.