In the wake of the Christchurch mass shooting – where 49 people were killed, and dozens more were wounded – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that gun laws in the country “will change.” The gunman was carrying five guns during the attack, reported as “two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns, and one lever-action firearm.”
“While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now: Our gun laws will change,” said Ardern during a press conference, according to a report by the Daily Wire.
Ardern asserted that banning semi-automatic weapons – firearms that fire a single bullet with each trigger pull and then automatically load and prepare the next bullet – is “certainly one of the issues that I’m looking at with immediate effect.”
After the press conference, David Parker, the New Zealand attorney general, promised the attendees of a vigil for the victims of the mass shooting that semi-automatic firearms would be banned by the government.
“There is a dimming of enlightenment in many parts of the world,” said Parker. “How can it be right for this atrocity to be filmed by the murderer using a go-pro and live-streamed across the world by social media companies?”
“How can that be right?” he continued. “Who should be held accountable for that?”
Reports suggest that the Mosque shooter modified the weapons he was carrying, violating his gun license.
The shooter reportedly had a “category-A” license, which allowed him to buy firearms without registering them. However, the modifications were illegal.
“A category-A firearm holder can purchase the firearms without the magazines or the things that will enable them to be in the state that they were,” said New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush.
“As soon as New Zealanders hear that someone was legally able to acquire, as I’m advised, those weapons and carry out this event, that will raise enormous questions with our gun laws, and that is why we will respond swiftly,” said Ardern during the press conference.
Bush told reporters that he “was very happy to hear the prime minister’s comments this morning that there will be a change in the gun law, but I can’t say any more than that.”