By: Teresa Mull
Presidential hopeful and self-proclaimed Socialist Bernie Sanders joined Democrats last week in cheering New Zealand’s newly enacted gun ban, proving that by "common sense gun reform" they really mean gun confiscation.
“This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “We must follow New Zealand's lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.”
NRA-ILA reported on New Zealand’s recent action:
This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand's lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States. https://t.co/lSAisDG9Ur— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 21, 2019
On March 21, the New Zealand government issued an order in council that immediately reclassified certain commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms as “military style semi-automatics,” or MSSAs. The order re-defined MSSAs in statute to include the following,
(a) a semi-automatic firearm that is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine (other than one designed to hold 0.22-inch or less rimfire cartridges) that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges:
(b) a semi-automatic firearm that is a shotgun and that is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges.
However, this is a temporary measure. In a statement to the public, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made clear that the orders in council were a “transitional measure until the wider ban takes effect,” and further legislation is still being drafted.
Ardern noted that there will be “a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand.” Going further, she noted that, “related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.”
Sanders wasn’t the only progressive to praise New Zealand’s strict new mandates. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Hillary Clinton all took to Twitter to voice their support.
Under @jacindaardern's leadership, New Zealand has banned assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic weapons just six days after the Christchurch mosque attacks.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 21, 2019
Public servants didn't stop at offering thoughts and prayers. They chose to act. pic.twitter.com/HuodopsJFp
See. It’s not that hard. https://t.co/6nTAYmHjnb— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 21, 2019
Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 21, 2019
Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market.
This is what leadership looks like ⬇️ https://t.co/TcdR63anBt
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.