Biden looks to New Zealand on Gun Control and COVID Lockdown Schemes

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called Joe Biden to congratulate him on Monday.

Ardern said the tone of the 20-minute phone call was warm and that Biden spoke very favorably about how New Zealand was handling the pandemic. Arden offered to share New Zealand’s expertise on dealing with the coronavirus. “What has been really at the center of our response has been some fundamentals around testing, contact tracing, isolation,” Ardern said. “That’s over and above what we’ve done at our borders.”

Biden told Arden he wants to discuss NZ’s COVID response further.  NZ imposed a strict lockdown in March and closed its borders. Only 25 people in the nation of 5 million have died from COVID-19.

Biden has also praised Ardern’s “extraordinary leadership” following a 2019 mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques, which included passing an amendment to restrict most semi-automatic firearms. As of late 2019 all semi auto center-fire rifles and any rifle or rifle magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds now fall into the restricted category, as do box magazine fed shotguns and shotguns with a magazine capacity of over 5 cartridges (both pump-action and semi-auto) . Semi-auto tubular magazine shotguns not holding more than 5 rounds and semi-auto rim-fire rifles not holding more than 10 rounds in a magazine are exempt. Further the government can declare things to be restricted weapons by regulation.