New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern on US gun laws: 'I do not understand the United States'

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in an interview with CNN said she “do[es] not understand” the United States' attitude toward gun control.

“Australia experienced a massacre and changed their laws, New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws,” Ardern said, referencing the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, in which a gunman killed 35 people, leading to stricter gun laws and a mandatory buy-back program for 634,000 firearms, as well as the mass shooting in New Zealand in March that left 51 dead.

“To be honest with you, I do not understand the United States,” Arden added.


Ardern noted that New Zealand has a long history and tradition of using guns for hunting. “You can draw a line and say that does not mean you need access to military-style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles,” Ardern said. “And New Zealand has by and large absolutely agreed with that position.”

After the March shooting at two Christchurch mosques, Ardern successfully championed legislation banning weapons of the type used by the gunman, who used an AR-15-style rifle. The bill passed the country’s Parliament nearly unanimously in April.

“I could not fathom how weapons that could cause such destruction and large-scale death could have been obtained legally in this country,” Ardern said in April. “We are ultimately here because 50 people died, and they do not have a voice."