WHAT'S BEING BANNED?
Ardern said a sales ban was effective immediately to prevent stockpiling and would be followed by a complete ban on the weapons within the next month.
The ban includes any “military-style” semi-automatic guns or shotguns that are capable of being used with a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds. The term also extends to attachments and accessories that convert guns into what the government labels as “military-style” weapons.
Under New Zealand law, military-style semi-automatic weapons are defined as rifles with magazines exceeding seven shots, or pistol grips, folding or telescopic butts, bayonet attachments or flash suppressors at the end of the barrel. They had restrictive gun licenses before being banned.
Many different firearms fall under the umbrella of semi-automatic. From pistols, to rifles and shotguns, most firearms are semi-automatic -- firing a bullet with each trigger pull.
WHAT'S NOT BANNED?
The country's ban does not include smaller firearms, such as semi-automatic .22 caliber, smaller guns that hold up to 10 rounds or semi-automatic and pump shotguns. Most of these guns are used by hunters and sportsmen.
The only ones exempt to the law would be police, military and pest control businesses.
Arden said people could hand over their guns under amnesty until officials implemented a proper buyback system. It is expected that such a process would cost the country 200 million in New Zealand currency ($140 million in the U.S.). Failure to comply could result in fines or prison time.
Thus far, only a few people have voluntarily turned in their guns to the government.
HOW MANY GUNS WILL BE AFFECTED?
Of New Zealand's 5 million population, 250,000 are licensed guns owners. Officials believe there are 1.5 million guns in the country.
At the moment, officials can only guess how many of those guns use large-capacity magazines.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE U.S.?
While New Zealand law does not affect our country, it is worth mentioning that their progressive approach to curtailing gun violence should be alarming. While we benefit greatly from the 2nd Amendment -- something that is engraved in the fabric of our nation's identity -- New Zealand is setting a dangerous precedent that left-wing gun control activist may attempt to copy/paste in our society.
While we sympathize with New Zealand and the families that were devastated by last week's events, no radical law will successfully prevent bad actors from doing bad things. While countries like New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Germany continue to crack down on guns, evil people are still able to obtain them. No law will prevent bad people from doing bad things.
Prohibition failed to stop people from buying and selling alcohol. A heavy-regulated drug industry doesn't stop people from smoking weed. And restrictive guns laws won't avert criminals from committing heinous acts.
This isn't a gun-related issue -- no more than it being the pencil's fault that you failed a test. At the heart of the matter, those on the left fail to see that bad people exist in our world. They want to believe that all people are good, and that guns are enabling people to do horrible, unspeakable things. They see the weapon, but not the one who wields it.
Furthermore, the left fails to realize the benefit that guns have on society. Guns have saved countless lives that go unreported in the media every day. They are used for hunting and managing wildlife. They are instrumental in protecting people (police) and our country (military). Most importantly, they allowed a group of commoners fed up with a tyranny the ability liberate a nation and declare their independence.
In the world of politics, people are quick to make rash decisions when something of this nature occurs. Unfortunately, and far too often, they attach empathy to complex policy decisions that go against the will of the people.
In a fast-paced news cycle, we are quick to pass judgement when a headline flashes on our TV screen. In doing so, we attach emotion to our decision-making, which replaces facts for feelings. While confiscating weapons may seem like a solution, it inevitably damages the freedoms and liberties that we fought for in the first place.
If we really want to implement reasonable policies surrounding guns, we must first educate ourselves on the issue. Proponents need to take the time to study guns, and weigh the pros and cons. Instead of having a default argument that calls for additional regulation, call for a debate that puts truth front and center.