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New Zealand bans sales of assault weapons

Mass Shootings at New Zealand Mosques / Photo: Google Maps / (MGN)
Mass Shootings at New Zealand Mosques / Photo: Google Maps / (MGN)
Published: Mar. 20, 2019 at 8:01 PM PDT
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The Latest on the mosque attacks in New Zealand (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

The New Zealand government is asking all owners of assault weapons or now-banned attachments to report them to the government in the next two days before turning them in.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday announced that the government was immediately banning sales of what New Zealand calls military style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines like the weapons used in last Friday's attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

She says the cabinet is also working on a gun buyback program to be announced later. Ardern says there will be "tightly regulated" exemptions for some owners such as hunters and farmers.

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3 p.m.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand is immediately banning sales of military style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines like the weapons used in last Friday's attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

Ardern announced the ban Thursday and said it would be followed by legislation to be introduced next month.

She said the man arrested in the attacks had purchased his weapons legally and enhanced their capacity by using 30-round magazines "done easily through a simple online purchase."

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11:30 a.m.

An imam says he's expecting thousands of people at an emotional Friday prayer service a week after an attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Six more funerals were being held Thursday for the 50 people killed last Friday.

Iman Gamal Fouda says he's been discussing plans for the prayer service with city officials and lawmakers and expects it will take place in a park across from Al Noor mosque, where at least 42 were killed.

Fouda expects 3,000 to 4,000 people, including many from abroad. He said members of the Linwood mosque, where the gunman killed seven people, also would attend the joint prayer.

He says mosque workers have been feverishly working to repair the destruction from the attack. They will bury the blood-soaked carpet.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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