The Latest: New Zealand bans all assault weapons immediately

6 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 9:56:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
By: The Associated Press

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday her government is immediately banning assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and "military style semi-automatic rifles" like the weapons used in last Friday's attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

Ardern said the ban 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."

On the same day, a New Zealand imam said he is 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 held Thursday for the 50 people killed last Friday.

Iman Gamal Fouda said 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.

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