March 21, 2019 3:01 pm

‘What leadership looks like’: New Zealand PM’s gun reform earns praise from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

WATCH: New Zeland PM announces ban of 'military-style' semi automatic weapons, assault rifles


Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is praising New Zealand’s prime minister for her swift action on gun control in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

“Sandy Hook happened six years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks (with) #HR8,” the New York Democrat said Wednesday on Twitter in reference to a bipartisan bill on firearm transfers.

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“Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market. This is what leadership looks like,” she added.

READ MORE: New Zealand’s new gun rules — what changes, and what stays the same

New Zealand announced a ban on the sale of semi-automatic weapons on Thursday, less than a week after a gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the sales ban, effective immediately, would include “every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack last Friday.”

Ardern said it would be followed by a complete ban on the weapons after new laws are rushed through.

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The ban includes any “military-style” semi-automatic guns or shotguns that are capable of being used with a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds. It also extends to accessories, such as bump stocks, used to convert guns into what the government called “military-style” weapons.

WATCH: Jacinda Ardern calls New Zealand a ‘blueprint on what not to do’ on gun laws

She previously said that the primary perpetrator of the shootings used five guns including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns. The shooter was in possession of a gun licence obtained in November 2017.

The alleged gunman posted a manifesto that promoted hate towards Muslims and other groups, police confirmed, and the massacre itself was livestreamed online.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old-Australian, has been charged with murder.

READ MORE: In wake of New Zealand attack, experts say mass shootings can spur stricter gun control

Twenty children and six educators were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting on Dec. 12, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, a massacre that has become a flashpoint for gun control advocates in the United States.

–With files from The Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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