A police car is seen in front of the parliament building in Wellington, New Zealand, Sept.  21, 2017.
A police car is seen in front of the parliament building in Wellington, New Zealand, Sept. 21, 2017.

New Zealand lawmakers have passed legislation banning military-style weapons, less than one month after 50 people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

The measure, approved by a 119 to 1 vote Wednesday in the House of Representatives, outlaws most automatic and semi-automatic weapons. It was the first substantial change to New Zealand's gun laws in decades.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern banned military style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles six days after the March 15 massacres, bans that will now be permanent once the bill is signed into law, which could come as soon as Friday.

A flower tribute is seen outside Al Noor mosque where more than 40 people were killed by a suspected white supremacist during Friday prayers on March 15, in Christchurch, New Zealand March 27, 2019.
Lives Forever Changed by Christchurch Shootings
On a small farm on the outskirts of Christchurch in New Zealand, Omar Nabi digs a small hole and sharpens a knife as he prepares to slaughter a sheep as a blessing to his father -- a victim of the mass killings at the Al Noor mosque.Hunched between his father's collection of rusted cars, Nabi softly said a prayer and slit the animal's neck, facing it towards Mecca. He removed the pelt and prepared the meat for cooking. Blood was pooled in a hole where he plans to plant a tree.

The measure also prohibits parts that convert firearms into semi-automatic weapons, magazines that exceed a certain capacity, and some shotguns.

The bill gives amnesty until September 30 for people to surrender banned items.

Twenty-eight-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant has been charged in the attacks, which occurred as worshippers attended Friday prayers. The suspected white supremacist, faces 50 counts of murder.

FILE - Forensic firearms examiners inspect weapons turned in by residents in a gun buy-back program co-sponsored with the New Life Covenant Church Southeast in the 6th Police District, in this June 2, 2018, photo provided by the Chicago Police Depart
Factbox: Global Civilian Gun Ownership
Americans have the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, with 4 in 10 saying they either own a gun or live in a home with guns, according to a 2017 Pew Center study.     The top 5 countries with highest gun ownership per 100 residents:    United States: 120.5   Yemen: 52.8  Montenegro: 39.1  Serbia: 39.1  Canada: 34.7   Source: Small Arms Survey, 2018  Countries with the most mass shootings 1966-2012: United States: 90  Philippines: 18  Russia: 15  Yemen: 11  France: 10   Source:…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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