New Zealand PM vows gun law reform after terror attacks
- Author: Joey Payne Mar 19, 2019,
Mar 19, 2019, 0:43
Tarrant, an Australian citizen who lived in New Zealand, appeared in court on Saturday where the judge read one murder charge and said more charges would likely follow. He's due back in court April 5.
David Tipple, whose Gun City company sold four weapons online to Tarrant, said there was nothing illegal about the sale.
There's no restriction on the number of guns or quantity of ammunition a licensed gun owner can have and pest control is legally considered a reason to own a military-style semi-automatic weapon.
"I've informed the police that Gun City sold the alleged gunman four category A firearms and ammunition", Tipple told global and local media.
New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters also spoke on Monday, saying the nation "changed forever" on Friday "and so will our laws".
Tarrant did not have a criminal history and was not on any watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.
A standard A-category firearm licence is issued after a police and background check.
An AR15 with a free-standing pistol grip, or a larger magazine, is deemed a MSSA and requires the more rigorously inspected "E-Cat" firearm licence.
This equates to three guns for every 10 people, well below the USA ratio of more than one weapon per person but higher than neighbouring Australia, where gun ownership was slashed in reforms following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in which 35 people died. "There is no valid reason to own fully or semi automatic weapons in New Zealand".
New Zealand's prime minister on Monday announced to introduce reforms in gun laws in the country, following the Friday's terrorist attacks on two mosques that left at least 50 people killed in Christchurch.
New Zealand, a country of only five million people, has an estimated 1.5 million firearms.
Gun City owner David Tipple during a press conference on Monday
Around Christchurch, New Zealand and the world there have been vigils, prayers, memorials and messages of solidarity.
On Monday Ms. Ardern - who spent Sunday morning with the Muslim community of Wellington - will gather her Cabinet to discuss changing the country's gun laws.
Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha said the first body was approved for release on Sunday night, but the family was yet to take the body because another relative was killed and they wanted to collect them together.
She said: "While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now".
Tributes continue to pour in for the victims, as some of their families wait for bodies of those killed to be released after post mortems.
The burial process, which usually involves washing with three kinds of water, salving wounds and scrubbing skin, would be complicated, volunteers in Christchurch said.
Police rammed the suspect's vehicle and arrested him as he drove away from the second mosque in the suburb of Linwood.
Mo, a volunteer who had flown in from Brisbane to wash the bodies, said the people who died in the mosques were classified as martyrs.
"They are well and truly looking at this threat, they are dealing with the threat and to think that they've just discovered it or they are coming late to the party is complete rubbish", he said.
"One of the most handsome and most peaceful countries in the world", he told a media conference in Christchurch, where the attack took place on Friday.
"You know I have lots of support, lots of love, lots of kindness from all of the New Zealand people".