New Zealand’s cabinet has agreed “in principle” to tighten gun control laws, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday, promising the changes will make the country safer. “We’ve unified, there are simply details to work through,” she said.
The attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, which left 50 people dead, “has exposed a range of weaknesses in New Zealand’s gun laws,” Ardern said. “The clear lesson from history around the world is that to make our community safer the time to act is now.”
New Zealand’s quick move to reform gun laws in the aftermath of a mass shooting lies in stark contrast to the typical response in the United States, where many lawmakers resist immediate calls for tighter gun laws, accusing activists of politicizing a tragedy.
Yahoo News reports:
The owner of gun shop Gun City, David Tipple, said the suspected gunman had legally bought four weapons and ammunition online from it between December 2017 and March 2018, but it did not sell him the high-powered weapon used in the massacre.
“The MSSA, military-style automatic, reportedly used by the alleged gunman was not purchased from Gun City. Gun City did not sell him an MSSA, only A-category firearms,” Tipple told a news conference in Christchurch.
Under New Zealand gun laws, A-category weapons can be semi-automatic but limited to seven shots. Live-streamed video of a gunman in one of the mosques showed a semi-automatic weapon with a large magazine. Tipple said he supported Ardern’s decision to reform gun laws as the Christchurch shootings had raised legitimate concerns.