New Zealand mosque massacre puts spotlight on gun laws

Armed police officers stand guard in a perimeter outside Al Noor mosque after Friday's shootings in New Zealand

Enlarge Image Armed police officers stand guard outside Al Noor mosque after Friday's shootings in New Zealand. Reuters

Prime minister Jacinda Arden has promised to reform the relevant laws, especially those referring to semi-automatic weapons, within ten days.

In a park across from the Al Noor mosque, where dozens were killed by a white supremacist gunman, the students sat on the grass in Monday's fading daylight, lifting flickering candles to the sky as they sang a traditional Maori song.

Lotto NZ said it had pulled all advertising from social media sites and the country's ASB Bank said was "considering" a similar step. "Gun City did not sell him an MSSA, only A-category firearms", Tipple told a news conference in Christchurch.

Mass shootings and violent crime are rare in New Zealand, a country of almost 5 million people.

Under New Zealand gun laws, A-category weapons can be semi-automatic but limited to seven shots.

The proposed changes, to be announced at a future date, were spurred by Friday's Christchurch terror attacks, in which a shooter used multiple weapons, including military-style semi-automatic ones, to open fire on worshippers at two mosques, killing 50.

Gun City owner David Tipple said Tarrant bought the weapons and ammunition between December 2017 and March 2018.

"We detected nothing extraordinary about the license holder".

He said "assurances were given" that once such content was pulled down, a regime would make sure it did not go back up.

"We have listened to public sentiment following Friday's terrorist attack in Christchurch and made a decision to remove all semi-automatic firearms sales and parts associated with those weapons today", Trade Me's statement reads.

Tipple said he supported Ardern's call for gun law reforms as the Christchurch shootings had raised legitimate concerns.

Ardern said there would be an inquiry into what government agencies "knew, or could or should have known" about the alleged gunman and whether the attack could be prevented.

Gun control laws in New Zealand, which are relatively lax, have been scrutinized since the attack.

"I do think that there are further questions to be answered".

"I will not change my opinion about New Zealand". Elsehwhere in Christchurch, a biker gang paid honor to the victims by performing a rendition of the haka.

Addressing a nation still coming to terms with the atrocity, she said: "We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism".

"I don't see this as a place where you need guns to live to feel safe", Sharma said.

Tarrant obtained a New Zealand gun licence in November 2017 and started legally amassing an arsenal of five guns within a month.

"Particularly Australian citizens, I don't understand how they can get access to firearms in New Zealand when New Zealand citizens can't get access to firearms in Australia", he added.

"But some people have said because it was not a battlefield it is OK to wash the body. It's my country", she said.

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