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New Zealand to ban all ‘military-style’ guns

New Zealand is to ban all types of ‘military-style’ guns following the Christchurch terror attacks.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she expected a ban on semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles like those used in the shootings at two mosques in the city to come into force within three weeks.

The announcement comes less than a week after 50 people were killed by a lone gunman.

Ms Ardern said the new legislation would be in place by 11 April.

She told reporters: ‘Our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too.’

‘Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack last Friday will be banned.

‘Our actions, on behalf of all New Zealanders, are directed at making sure this never happens again.’

She said she would work on legal exemptions to the ban, such as for farmers but said any exemptions would be ‘tightly regulated’.

The prime minister added: ‘For other dealers, sales should essentially now cease.

‘My expectation is that these weapons will now be returned to your suppliers and never enter into the New Zealand market again.’

Police confirmed that all of the dead have now been formally identified.

One of New Zealand’s largest gun retailers, Hunting & Fishing New Zealand, said it supported ‘any government measure to permanently ban such weapons’.

Chief executive Darren Jacobs said: ‘While we have sold them in the past to a small number of customers, last week’s events have forced a reconsideration that has led us to believe such weapons of war have no place in our business — or our country.

He said the company would no longer stock any assault-style firearms and would also stop selling firearms online.