Published: Mon, March 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Australian family of suspected NZ mosque gunman devastated for victims

Australian family of suspected NZ mosque gunman devastated for victims

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

"This ultimately means that within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer", she said.

"We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things".

For previous governments, it has not been a priority as despite rising ownership, New Zealand has until now had relatively few gun-related deaths.

As it now stands in the South Pacific nation of 4.8 million people, in order to obtain a firearm license a person must pass a test to ensure he is considered a "fit and proper person".

"The primary aim of the activity is to formally obtain material that may assist New Zealand Police in their ongoing investigation", the agencies said in a joint statement.

Only firearm owners are licensed, not weapons, so there is no monitoring of how many weapons a person may possess.

"What the public rightly are asking right now is why is it and how is it that you are currently able to buy military style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand, and that's the right question to ask", Ms Ardern told TVNZ earlier on Monday. The Port Arthur massacre in Australia in 1996 shook the continent, changed gun legislation the Pacific nation, strictly restricting self-loading rifles and other weapons. As an added challenge, numerous videos were altered in ways that made it hard for YouTube's AI to recognize them.

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"We have listened to public sentiment following Friday's terrorist attack in Christchurch and made a decision to remove all semi-automatic firearms sales and parts associated with those weapons today", Trade Me's statement reads.

New Zealand media outlets Local NZ and NZ Herald have published a list of vigils being held throughout the country this week.

A police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 17, 2019. "But again, there was only limited acceptance of that by politicians". There's not many people with much sympathy for that, even the white supremacists'.

"I totally agree there should be a gun debate, but today is not the day", said Tipple.

"We are prudent in our sales and have been acknowledged by the police as an example of how dealers should operate".

Referring to the man arrested after the shootings at two mosques, Tipple said, "We detected nothing extraordinary about this (gun) license holder".

Speaking publicly for the first time in their home town of Grafton in the Australian state of New South Wales after the killings, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant's grandmother Marie Fitzgerald expressed her sorrow, as did his uncle Terry Fitzgerald.

Mr Tipple said he supported Prime Minister Ardern's move to reform gun laws as the Christchurch shootings had raised legitimate concerns. Many came together for a haka - a traditional Maori ceremonial dance that has been performed by groups across New Zealand in the wake of killings.

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