"The bill recognizes the harm that results from the misuse of semi-automatic firearms. To remove these sorts of firearms from circulation and use by the general population in New Zealand, the bill proposes banning semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and parts that can be used to assemble prohibited (banned) firearms," the statement reads.
The bill was introduced to the Parliament on April 1. The vote on the bill took place on Tuesday and afterwards the document was sent to the Finance and Expenditure Committee that will report back to Parliament on April 8. The bill will have its second reading on April 9. In order to come into force, it must get approval from Queen Elizabeth II.
The New Zealand government decided to change the country's gun laws in response to the Christchurch mosques deadly terrorist attack that took place on March 15, 2019 and left 50 people dead. Shortly after the tragedy, on March 21, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced a ban on military-style semi-automatic firearms and assault rifles.
The suspect in the attack, identified as 28-year-old Australian national Brenton Tarrant, was detained and has been since then charged with murder and put into custody.