New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says gun control in her country was swift following the 2021 mass shooting in Christchurch that killed 51 Muslim worshippers.
She made the comments Tuesday night on CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" following the Texas school shooting that left at least 19 children and two adults dead.
"I think of them not as a politician — I see them just as a mother, and I'm so sorry for what has happened here," Ardern told Colbert when he asked why New Zealand was able to pass gun control legislation "when we can't do so much as pass universal background checks for people with a history of mental illness or violent behavior."
"I think about what happened to us, and all I can reflect is, we are a very pragmatic people. When we saw something like that happen, everyone said, 'Never again,' " she explained. "And so, then it was incumbent on us as politicians to respond to that."
Ardern shared that while Kiwis have "legitimate needs for guns in our country," including pest control, "you don't need a military-style semiautomatic weapon to do that — and so we got rid of that."
She also said guns are still "misused," but New Zealand politicians "saw something that wasn't right, and we acted on it."
The New Zealand government had near-unanimous support in Parliament when it earlier passed a law banning military-style semi-automatics (MSSAs) in a first round of reforms within weeks of the attack, New Zealand's worst peace-time mass shooting.
New Zealand's efforts on gun control have gained global praise, especially in the United States, where lawmakers in favor of gun control and activists have struggled to address gun violence despite numerous mass shootings.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.