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New Zealand's prime minister announced that semi-automatic rifles like the ones used last Friday in the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch will be banned from the country once approved by the parliament.

"Today I am announcing that New Zealand will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons. We will also ban all assault rifles. We will also ban all high capacity magazines," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday local time. "We will ban all parts with the ability to convert semi-automatic or any other type of firearm into a military style semi-automatic weapon."

Ardern said she expects the gun laws to be passed by the end of a "two-week sitting session" that concludes April 11, Yahoo News reports.

Residents caught with the banned guns will face penalties, including fines of up to $4,000 and/or three years in prison, she said, noting that the new law could increase these penalties.

The country will also establish a buy-back scheme, which could cost between $100 million and $200 million, "a price that we must pay for the safety of our community," Ardern said.

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