New Zealand MPs vote to approve gun crackdown

MPs in New Zealand have voted overwhelmingly in favour of new gun restrictions during the first stage of a bill they hope to rush into law by the end of next week.

The new law would ban the types of weapons a gunman used to kill 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch last month.

The bill was backed by both liberals and conservatives, with only one politician from the 120 that sit in Parliament in Auckland voting against it.

The vote was the first of three that must pass before the bill receives Royal Assent.

The country’s police minister Stuart Nash said far too many people have access to dangerous guns and politicians were driven by the need to ensure public safety.

He said: ‘We are also driven by the memory of 50 men, women and children who were taken from their loved ones on the 15th of March.

‘Their memory is our responsibility.

‘We don’t ever want to see an attack like this in our country again.

‘We are compelled to act quickly.’

The bill would ban ‘military-style’ semi-automatic guns and high-capacity magazines.

It would also ban semi-automatic shotguns that could be fitted with detachable magazines and pump-action shotguns that can hold more than five rounds.