Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

New Zealand gun laws to change: Ardern

New Zealand gun laws to change: Ardern

"As Canadians are learning the horrific details of last night's terror attack at two New Zealand mosques, I wish to express both my deep sadness at the tragic loss of innocent life and my profound condemnation of this cowardly and hateful attack on the Muslim community", it said.

"This is New Zealand".

Two Conservative MPs have also cancelled an event on Monday with a British parliamentarian who has been accused of promoting anti-Islamic sentiments "out of respect" for Muslims reeling from the attacks that killed 49 people.

According to an information release from the New Zealand police, there were a total of 69 murders with a firearm in the entire country over the span of a decade, from 2008 to 2017.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

The Aramoana incident prompted tightening restrictions on military-style semi-automatic firearms. But there's dispute about how those guns are defined, which some critics say has led to legal loopholes.

U.S. President Donald Trump extended condolences on Twitter to New Zealanders and said, "The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do". "Most guns can be legally sold on the Internet or through newspaper ads".

Prime Minister Ardern called the shooting a "terrorist attack", and authorities advised all mosques in Christchurch to shut down until further notice. A lever-action shotgun was "also found", she said. Media reports of the number of fatalities varied widely, with the New Zealand Herald citing reports of between nine and 27 people dead. For example, based on government figures compiled by, there were 59 homicides in 2015 "by any means", and 8 of those were gun homicides.

It is thought more than three million guns are in New Zealand, which has a population of just under five million.

At a press conference Friday, Police Association President Chris Cahill said that for nearly all of the officers responding, "it will be the biggest and toughest thing they've had to deal with in their career", as NZ Herald reported.

Among the wounded, two were in a critical condition, including a four-year-old child, he said. In Scotland, the shooting of 16 students and a teacher in March 1996 prompted the banning of private ownership of handguns in the United Kingdom, and after the Port Arthur massacre where 35 people were killed in a series of shootings, Austrailia enacted widespread tightening of gun laws.

"My message was sympathy and love for all Muslim communities", she said. "I guess if you look at what happened in New Zealand perhaps that's a case, I don't know enough about it yet". "We must all confront Islamophobia and work to create a world in which all people-no matter their faith, where they live, or where they were born-can feel safe and secure".

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