New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Mark Tantrum/Getty Images

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday a national ban on all military-style semiautomatic weapons, just 6 days after attacks on 2 mosques in Christchurch killed 50 worshippers.

The big picture: Ardern's swift action to ban weapons that the killer used, stands in sharp contrast to the political stalemate and unwillingness to pass gun control measures in the U.S. Congress despite an alarming number of mass shootings in recent years. Already "More than a thousand people have notified Police using the online form that they wish to hand in their firearm," New Zealand Police said Friday afternoon local time. "Hundreds more have phoned them to notify them of their intentions. The gun amnesty will run until legislation has been amended."

What exactly Ardern wants to ban: As the AP notes, the ban includes any "military-style" semi-automatic guns, assault rifles and parts that can be converted into a semiautomatic weapon. Under New Zealand law, military-style semi-automatics are rifles with magazines exceeding 7 shots.

What's not included in the ban: "Semi-automatic .22 caliber or smaller guns that hold up to 10 rounds or semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns with non-detachable magazines that hold up to five rounds. The guns not banned are commonly used by farmers and hunters," per the AP.

What's next: An immediate sales ban went into effect Thursday to prevent stockpiling. The proposed laws are expected to encounter little opposition in Parliament as Ardern’s liberal Labour Party, the conservative opposition National Party and one of the country's largest largest gun retailers support the measures.

  • Ardern had also said the ban would require a buyback of the banned weapons, a program that would cost the government about up to 200 million New Zealand dollars ($140 million).

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.