Wellington - New Zealand imposed an immediate ban on assault weapons on Thursday, taking swift action in response to the Christchurch massacre and triggering renewed calls from leading American politicians for curbs in the United States. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic weapons would be banned with immediate effect, making good on a pledge to ensure that nothing like last week's slaughter of 50 people ever occurs in the Pacific nation again. The killings by an Australian white supremacist have caused national soul-searching over New Zealand's lax gun laws. But the tough crackdown promises to have political repercussions beyond the country's shores, including in the United States where gun control is one of the most divisive political issues. “In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country,” Ardern said. She added that high-capacity magazines and devices similar to bump sto...

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