New Zealand gun laws face intense public scrutiny following Christchurch massacre

New gun laws will make New Zealand safer after mosque massacre, says PM Ardern

The organisers 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".

Alpers & Co - Northwest Law Office Senior Associate Richard Peters confirmed as of Saturday he was no longer acting on behalf of Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, who is accused of shooting and killing at least 50 people at two mosques on March 15.

Fifty people died and dozens were injured in Friday's twin shootings.

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

With a handful of picketers outside Tipple's Gun City store this morning to voice their opposition to the continued sale of high-powered firearms in Christchurch, one of protesters, Reina Dornan, told Xinhua, "I'm not blaming any body, but I think mistakes were made that allowed this to happen, so I came down here to say that I support gun law changes", she said.

At a news conference, Gun City owner David Tipple said the store sold four guns and ammunition to Tarrant through a "police-verified online mail order process".

Tarrant, who appeared in court on March 16 charged with murder, on March 18 sacked his state-appointed lawyer.

Waikato University law professor Alexander Gillespie said he expected that Tarrant will face multiple murder charges.

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The Prime Minister said an inquiry will look into the circumstances leading up to Friday's attack.

Addressing the nation from the capital city of Wellington on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern assured New Zealanders that changes to country's gun laws would soon be finalized. However, none of the items bought were semi-automatic weapons and it remains unclear if the weapons bought were used in last Friday's attack.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said she would be discussing the issue with Facebook.

There have also been calls for a gun register, which isn't required in New Zealand for most firearms, according to the BBC.

New Zealand, a country of only 5 million people, has an estimated 1.5 million firearms.

They said the family of the Australian man arrested in Christchurch over the shootings were assisting police. "I don't give any credibility whatsoever to the ramblings of somebody who is rotten to the core and, clearly, is an extremist of the worst kind, who could walk into two mosques and, without any care whatsoever, kill people", said Brown, who was also speaking on CNN.

At his first court appearance, Tarrant didn't speak but appeared unrepentant, smirking at journalists and flashing an upside down "okay" sign - a symbol associated with white power groups around the world. A government-funded gun buyback and a virtual ban on owning semi-automatic rifles cut private gun ownership by nearly a third.

A New Zealand e-commerce site has already stopped selling semi-automatic guns online. "Packed and most of the cheaper ARs sold out", reported one commenter, while another compared the purchases to "the Obama scare" in the US, where the threat of tighter gun laws led people to buy more weapons while legal. The store "detected nothing extraordinary", about the buyer, he said. "But it is at the discretion of the family", said Mo, who asked to be identified by just one name.

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