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New Zealand's prime minister vows to tighten arms control laws after Christchurch's attack on world news

New Zealand's weapons control laws are being tightened following the massacre of 49 mosques in Christchurch mosques, the country's prime minister said.

Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference on Saturday that she would consider banning semiautomatic firearms after the alleged shooter had legally obtained five pistols behind the shootings.

"I can tell you one thing now: our gun laws are going to change," Ardern said. "There have been attempts to change our laws in 2005, 2012, and after an investigation in 2017. Now is the time for a change."

Ardern said the alleged gunman had used five guns, which he apparently acquired legally under an "A-Class A" license he received in November 2017. He seemed to have started buying weapons the following month.

The alleged offender's weapons contained two semi-automatic guns and two shotguns, the Prime Minister said. In answering reporters' questions, Ardern said that all options to restrict gun violence were being considered.

New Zealand allows the possession of semi-automatic guns, often referred to as "assault rifles", which are banned in countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom. Weapons can be bought online, and anyone who is 16 years old and has an entry-level license can own them.

The PM said on Saturday that she had received "condolence messages from around the world" and international leaders, including US President Donald Trump, who was criticized for his hostility to Muslims.

"He very much wishes that his condolences will be passed on to New Zealand," Ardern said. "He asked what support the US could provide. My message was compassion and love for all Muslim communities. "

When asked how Trump reacted, Ardern said, "He admitted that and agreed."

After the attack, four people were arrested and one was released. Arden said that person was an armed member of the public who tried to help the police at the scene.

An Australian man in his twenties was charged with murder and is scheduled to appear in court on Saturday. Arden followed the prosecution by not mentioning him or two other suspects questioned.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, identified himself online as behind the attack.

Ardern described the main suspect as having "sporadically" visited New Zealand on international trips. "They were not based in Christchurch," she said.

Investigators want to find out whether the other two people arrested were involved in the attacks or not.

Ardern said the New Zealand intelligence agencies had reinforced the surveillance of right-wing extremists, but the alleged executioner had not become aware of the law enforcement agencies and had no criminal record.

The Prime Minister said she had asked the authorities to investigate the social media production of the main suspect and other evidence for material that "should have triggered a response from the police".

According to Ardern, a total of 41 people were killed in a mosque on Deans Avenue and seven in a mosque on Lynwood Avenue. One person later died in the hospital.

According to Ardern, more than 40 injured were treated in hospital shootings, two of which are still in critical condition. One of the injured is a five-year-old girl.


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