New Zealand's PM vows to change gun laws

New Zealand's PM vows to change gun laws

World News
New Zealand will change its gun laws after a shooter used five guns to kill worshippers at a mosque.

New Zealand will change its gun laws after a shooter used five guns to kill worshippers at a mosque.

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New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to change the nation's gun laws after confirming the "primary perpetrator" in Christchurch's terror atta...

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New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to change the nation's gun laws after confirming the "primary perpetrator" in Christchurch's terror attack used five weapons.

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change," Ms Ardern told reporters in Wellington on Saturday.

"There have been attempts to change our laws in 2005, 2012 and after an inquiry in 2017. Now is the time for change."

There were 49 people killed and more than 40 injured in the shootings at two mosques on Friday, since confirmed as an act of terror.

Ms Ardern said she was advised the gunman obtained a Category A gun licence in November 2017 and "under that, he was able to acquire the guns that he held".

He began purchasing guns the following month.

The 28-year-old Australian citizen, Brenton Tarrant, who was not a resident of Christchurch but had based himself in Dunedin, used two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm, Ms Ardern said.

"When people, of course, hear that this individual had acquired a gun licence and acquired weapons of that range, then obviously I think people will be seeking change, and I'm committing to that," she said.

New Zealand's Attorney-General, David Parker, on Saturday appeared to tell a cheering crowd at a vigil the government would ban semi-automatic weapons, but later told Radio NZ it was just one issue being considered.

Ms Ardern later said it appeared some of the weapons used had been modified, and that issue would also be considered.

"There are a raft of issues on the table," she said.

Opposition Leader Simon Bridges, who is travelling to Christchurch with Ms Ardern, has declined to comment on proposed gun changes, saying it was too soon to discuss political issues.

Questions are also being asked about how the man was able to enter New Zealand .

The prime minister said she's instructed the Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination - the country's primary governance board overseeing national security - to report back on Monday on the sequence of events on the South Island.

"To strengthen us on a number of fronts, including but not limited to enhanced border controls, sharing with Australia, and any practical reinforcement of our watch list processes," she said.

While he has not been named by police, former personal trainer Tarrant from Grafton in NSW has identified himself online as the perpetrator.

Ms Ardern has said he spent sporadic periods of time in New Zealand and his last entry had been "relatively short".

He appeared in court on Saturday. Two others have been arrested and inquiries are ongoing to establish whether they were directly involved in the massacre.

The trio were not on any watchlists or on the radar of intelligence agencies across Australia or New Zealand.

Australian Associated Press

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