The Hawke's Bay Muslim community's leader says he is happy with the Government's decision to immediately ban military style and semi-automatic assault rifles.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed stronger gun laws would come into effect immediately in a press conference this afternoon.

The country's rules around guns have been in the spotlight since last Friday's mosque shootings in Christchurch.

The president of the Hawke's Bay Baitul Mokarram Masjid and Islamic Centre Trust, Sayed Ahmed, said he was relieved the Government had acted so fast.


The way the community had rallied around the mosque in Hastings, planting flowers and sharing love, had warmed his heart, he said.

"Many of our brothers and sisters have been scared of more attacks happening but the sense of community of locals and government has put many of us at ease."

Ardern said Cabinet agreed to overhaul the law when it met on Monday, 72 hours after the attack.

The ban was on all military-style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand.

"Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.

"An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme. Further details will be announced on the buyback in due course."

All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday, March 15 will be banned.

"Legislation to give effect to the ban will be introduced when Parliament sits in the first week of April. We will provide a short, sharp select committee process for feedback on the technical aspects of the changes. We are looking to progress the amendments to this legislation under urgency and expect these amendments to the Arms Act to be passed within the next session of Parliament."

James Crow from Napier with daughter Zana, 7, started a petition against Gun City coming to Napier. Photo / Paul Taylor
James Crow from Napier with daughter Zana, 7, started a petition against Gun City coming to Napier. Photo / Paul Taylor

Earlier today, the Herald revealed Gun City had sold out of the type of rifle used in the terror attack.

Gun City's new store in Napier is set to open its doors to the public in two weeks' time, but some feel the doors should remain closed.

Napier City Council granted land-use consent to expand a multi-unit building in July last year and said the store was due to open in the first week of April.

The franchise, along with a sports retail store, has been built on a site next to Big Save Furniture near Pandora Pond, Ahuriri.

Napier local James Crow has started a petition on to "tell council no Gun City in Napier".

Crow has lived in Ahuriri for two years and wants to see what the opinion of the community is about the store.

"Before what happened last week I wasn't too keen on the idea of it, but after what happened in Christchurch and how the company responded I don't see the need for it," Crow said.