New Zealand gun control threat sparks run on semi-automatic weapons

New Zealand gun control threat sparks run on semi-automatic weapons

According to the Associated Press, the organizers of New Zealand's largest gun show say they have canceled the event to show respect for victims of the Christchurch massacre and because of "elevated security risks".

Australian media said one of the homes belonged to the sister of suspected white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, who was charged in New Zealand with murder on Saturday.

Investigators at the site of Friday's shooting outside the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch on Monday.

In vowing to tighten gun laws, Ms Ardern has said the attacker used five guns, two of them semi-automatic, which were purchased with an ordinary gun licence and modified.

"I absolutely agree with her and I believe many New Zealanders will be aghast that in our country someone can amass a cache of weapons like that discovered in this Christchurch tragedy".

David Tipple, the managing director of Gun City, whose online store sold Tarrant four weapons, said he felt no responsibility for the killings.

Tarrant has not yet entered a plea.

Ardern said on Monday that the attacks - which killed 50 people and wounded dozens more - exposed weaknesses in gun laws that the government will address through reforms to be announced within 10 days.

"The terror attack in Christchurch on Friday was the worst act of terrorism on our shores, it was in fact one of the worst globally in recent times and it has exposed a range of weaknesses in New Zealand's gun laws".

In the coming days, debate over New Zealand's gun laws is likely to intensify in response to the massacre and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's announcement. "The objective of this inquiry is to look at what all relevant agencies knew or could or should have known about the individual and his activities, including his access to weapons and whether they could have been in a position to prevent the attack".

Meanwhile, even U.S. politicians are pushing gun control for New Zealand, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mocking the idea of "thoughts and prayers" and calling for "policy change" instead.

Despite having tightened the rules in the 1990s after the last mass shooting, New Zealand has relatively permissive gun laws, with licences granted to almost every applicant.

"This is an issue that I will look to be discussing directly with Facebook", Ardern said on Friday, adding Sandberg has shared condolences over the shootings in Christchurch.

A teenager, whose name can not be published, appeared in court on Monday and was charged with distributing that footage. "There is no valid reason to own fully or semi automatic weapons in New Zealand".

Police said the airport in the southern city of Dunedin, had been reopened early on Monday after a suspicious item found on the airfield turned out to be a hoax object.

Mr Tipple said: "We detected nothing extraordinary about this license holder".

Australia banned semi-automatic weapons and launched a national gun amnesty.

The New Zealand Red Cross is accepting donations as volunteers continue to provide on-the-ground emotional support to family members of victims, responding to their concerns and giving them information they may have missed.

The owner of Gun City, a gun shop in New Zealand, said he sold weapons to the attacker.

Ms Ardern has said authorities hoped to release all the bodies by Wednesday and police said authorities were working with pathologists and coroners to complete the task as soon as they could.

Related Articles