New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern confirmed the gunman had obtained a Category A gun licence in November and ‘under that, he was able to acquire the guns that he held’.
Ms Ardern said she would be seeking to change the laws that allowed the shooter access to these weapons. ‘I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change. There have been attempts to change our laws in 2005, 2012 and after an inquiry in 2017. Now is the time for change’.
She said the gunman used two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm during the attack, allowing him to shoot a rapid succession of rounds.
What are New Zealand’s gun laws?
Carrying a gun is only permitted for those with a ‘lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose’, such as hunting, pest control or sports shooting. Self-defence is not considered a reason to have a gun. Two referees, including one spouse or parent, must be able to attest to an applicant’s suitability to carry a gun in an interview with police. An arms officer from New Zealand Police will also pay a visit to their home to inspect security of the guns. Applicants must also attend a gun safety lecture and pass a test, where they have to get 28 out of 30 answers right.
A firearms licence is valid for 10 years unless it is revoked or surrendered sooner. Gun owners can have their licence taken away if they are thought to be perpetrators of family violence.
Once approved, the licence allows a person to have or use a rifle or shotgun. Special permits are required for pistols, military-style semi-automatic weapons and other restricted categories such as machine guns and rocket launchers.
Unlike rifles and shotguns, those guns must be registered with police.
Jacinda Ardern … is the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand since 26 October 2017. She is the Leader of the Labour Party since 1 August 2017. Ardern has been the MP for the Mount Albert electorate since 8 March 2017; she was first elected to the House of Representatives as a list MP at the 2008 general election. After graduating from the University of Waikato in 2001, Ardern began her career working as a researcher in the office of PM Helen Clark. She later worked in the United Kingdom as a policy advisor to British PM Tony Blair. In 2008, she was elected President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.
Jacinda Ardern delivers heartfelt message to families of victims
Watch: Newshub video
Meanwhile, in Australia…
Legally, Australians have a right to self-defence. What we don’t have is the practical ability to exercise that right. Owning any object for the purpose of self-defence, lethal or non-lethal, is a criminal offence. Those trapped within the Lindt cafe were left helpless, as carrying items for self-defence is not allowed under State law. What’s worse, the offender possibly knew it. Martin Place siege: Could it have been averted if the customers had been armed? Martin Place siege: Could it have been averted if the customers had been armed? Prohibited self-defence items include pepper sprays, mace, clubs and personal Tasers. In some states, carrying a pocket-knife is illegal and even wearing a bullet-proof vest is banned. Those agile enough to retreat from an assailant can do so, and it is lawful to use items at hand such as screwdrivers, kitchen knives and beer glasses. But for those who are unable to flee, insufficiently strong, or with no improvised weapon, there is no option but to rely on the police.Source: Sen. David Leyonhjelm writing in the SMH