Christchurch shootings: NZ government backs changes to gun laws

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New Zealand's prime minister set a timeline for her government to draft stricter gun laws, but didn't reveal specific details after a meeting with her cabinet following Friday's deadly mosque shootings.

"Many Muslims are anxious about the situation and they fear that something similar to these attacks in New Zealand might also happen here", he said.

The alleged shooter had written a 74-page screed promoting his white supremacist views and had livestreamed his attack on the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.

The New Zealand Herald reported Monday that he had dismissed his appointed lawyer and plans to defend himself. The store "detected nothing extraordinary", about the buyer, he said.

"We've been very conscious of the need to work sensitively with requirement of each family", Sarah Stuart-Black, Director for the Ministry of Civil, Defense & Emergency Management, said at a press conference in Christchurch.

All five guns used in Friday's rampage were purchased legally in New Zealand, including two semi-automatic rifles. After Ardern vowed at the weekend to change the gun laws, there were media reports that people were rushing to buy guns before any ban was implemented.

"Gun City has operated for 40 years and at all times we have met our legal obligations", Managing Director of Gun City David Tipple said.

While she would not say whether a buyback or amnesty scheme would be part of the new laws, Ms Ardern said New Zealanders were free to hand over their guns.

Goodale said the killing of 50 people in Christchurch has sparked a global sense of concern that will prompt Canadian politicians to make some timely decisions.

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"As a community, we would like that person to go through the process, the due process, and to be given all his rights", he said.

She also said that while the man charged with carrying out the shootings was not a New Zealand citizen, it could not ignore the problem of white supremacy supporters within the country.

Brenton Tarrant was charged with one count of murder - though he may face other charges - and appeared at Christchurch District Court on Saturday after the rampage during Friday prayers that left at least 50 people dead.

Peters said the trial judge must decide how much racist rhetoric will be allowed.

"This includes, but is not limited to, the two mosques and members of their congregation, our local Lautoka mosque and the New Zealand Islamic Federation because all mosques have shut their doors nationally". Facebook said it blocked the upload of 1.2 million video clips and removed another 300,000 within 24 hours.

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.

Authorities say they hope to release all the bodies by Wednesday. "It's my country", she said.

From December 1998 to December 2018, there were a total of 15 murders committed by someone who had a firearms license, according to police.