SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — New Zealand’s prime minister announced Wednesday evening that the country will immediately ban the sale of all assault weapons, including assault rifles, military style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, resembling the weapons used in last Friday’s attacks that killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch.
The prime minister says she hopes the law will be in place by early next month.
“I absolutely believe there will be a common view amongst New Zealanders, those who use guns for legitimate purposes, and those who have never touched one, that the time for the mass and easy availability of these weapons must end. And today they will,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
In San Francisco, the Interfaith Council Community held a vigil to mourn the victims of the shootings on Wednesday evening. People gathered on the steps of City Hall to light candles and recite prayers about an hour after the prime minister made her announcement.
“I certainly wish we could do something as swiftly here to try to deal with our gun problem which i think is unprecedented,” said Vlad Khaykin, a vigil attendee.
“We have a president who not only ignores this type of legislation.. but he’s actually promoting it,” said Joseph Sweiss.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the suspect in the shootings bought four of his guns legally online.
Those weapons are now included in the ban.