Dec 21, 2019

New Zealanders hand over 50,000 semi-automatic weapons to government

Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

The government of New Zealand said on Saturday that roughly 33,000 gun owners turned in more than 50,000 firearms as part of a six-month buyback program following an assault weapons ban that wrapped up Friday at midnight, AP reports.

Why it matters: The government banned most semi-automatic weapons within a month of the Christchurch mosque attack, which killed 51 people. However, critics claim many owners have illegally kept their firearms, AP writes.

  • An additional 2,700 guns were modified to make them compliant with government standards, and authorities say they've seized another 1,800 guns from gangs since March, per AP.

What they're saying:

  • Police Minister Stuart Nash said criminals wouldn't be able to access the guns as easily given they often stole the weapons from law-abiding gun owners, who no longer have them, according to AP.
  • Nicole McKee, a spokesperson for Council of Licensed Firearms Owners, said people kept nearly two-thirds of banned weapons because they weren't adequately compensated and no longer trusted the government.

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TSA caught record number of guns in carry-ons in 2019

A TSA security screening at Orlando International Airport. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The TSA found an average of 85 firearms a week at airport security checkpoints in 2019, a record-setting 4,432 guns for the year, of which nearly 90% were loaded, the agency revealed on Wednesday.

The big picture: This uptick in airline passengers bringing loaded guns in carry-on bags, which violates TSA rules, is part of a growing trend. The agency has steadily found more firearms every year since 2009, when only 976 were discovered.

Go deeperArrowJan 16, 2020

Virginia AG asks state Supreme Court not to overturn gun ban

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Photo: H. Darr Beiser for The Washington Post via Getty Image

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring insisted on Friday that the state Supreme Court not overturn a temporary weapons ban the governor enacted for a planned gun-rights rally at the state Capitol next Monday, AP reports.

Why it matters: The FBI assisted the police on Thursday in arresting six men linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base, at least three of whom were thought to be planning to attend the rally in Richmond, AP writes.

Go deeperArrowJan 17, 2020

Ralph Northam temporarily bans weapons from Virginia Capitol amid threats

Virginia. Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) announced a temporary weapons ban for the Virginia Capitol and declared a state of emergency in anticipation of a gun-rights rally scheduled for Monday that is eliciting "serious threats," Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Northam says he implemented the ban to avoid a repeat of Charlottesville, referring to the violence that followed a 2017 "Unite the Right" rally. That deadly event became a defining moment as white nationalism surged.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020