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Gun laws to change in New Zealand after terror attack

March 17, 2019

Jacinda Ardern the New Zealand's prime minister has promised to toughen the country's gun laws. This is after the man accused of murdering 49 people in two mosques on Friday said he had legally purchased the firearms used in the massacre.

The terrorist, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, got a gun licence in November 2017 and began purchasing the five weapons used in the attacks from December. These were two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action weapon.

The mere fact... 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. While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun licence, and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now -- our gun laws will change. - Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, New Zealand

Ardern also said that Tarrant and two of his suspected associates were not on the radar of intelligence agencies, although he had published a manifesto online indicating plans for attacks on Muslims. "They were not on any watchlists either here or in Australia. The individual charged with murder had not come to the attention of the intelligence community, nor the police, for extremism," Ardern added. Anyone over 16 years of age can apply for a New Zealand firearms licence, valid for 10 years after completing a safety course and a police background check. Meanwhile, Tarrant was brought to a local court on murder charges on Saturday and was sent to jail. He smirked when the media took pictures of him and was seen making a gesture signifying white power. His lawyer made no application for bail. Tarrant live-streamed footage of his progress from room to room in the mosques, shooting down people as they tried to escape.

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