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Huge public support for ban on semi automatic weapons

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18 March 2019

Thousands of New Zealanders are supporting the call for an urgent ban on semi-automatic weapons in response to the tragic events of Friday.

Wellingtonian Nik Green started a petition calling for a ban on Saturday morning that has over 15,000 signatures and growing.

"Like many New Zealanders, I was horrified and grief-struck by Friday’s events and wanted to do something practical that would help prevent anything similar happening again," Green says.

There are an estimated 1.1 million firearms in New Zealand. Currently there is no registration of weapons in New Zealand, and anyone with a firearms licence can buy a gun. 99 percent of people who apply for a gun licence are given one.

Hannah Clarke is part of a group of Kiwi women who are launching a campaign today to ask the government to put in place a moratorium on gun shop advertising.

“Firearms advertising should be regulated in exactly the same way as tobacco or any other harmful product,” she says.

“Driving past billboards advertising guns just feels wrong to so many people,” Clarke says. “We want this country to be a safe place for all New Zealanders. We don’t want guns to be a normal part of New Zealand society.”

NZ Defence Force veteran Josh Jacobsen says he is glad to hear the government is promising to take action, and wants to see reform to improve the lax nature of firearms legislation.

“The fact the terrorist was able to possess the weapons and magazines that made this attack so deadly highlights the need for major reform to the Arms Act,” he says.

Jacobsen is working with a group calling for the government to amend the Arms Act to “prohibit the possession of military-style semi-automatic rifles, institute a register for firearms, and prohibit the possession of high-capacity magazines.”

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