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WorldNew Zealanders buy up on guns as new laws proposed after Christchurch mosque shootings

23:06  17 march  2019
23:06  17 march  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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New Zealanders buy up on guns as new laws proposed after Christchurch mosque shootings© Provided by ABC News Carol Pomana went shopping for guns after the New Zealand Government announced plans to tighten gun laws.

Carol Pomana feels slightly uncomfortable about shopping for guns just days after the Christchurch terrorist attack on two mosques that left 50 people dead and dozens more injured.

"In some ways, I feel like it's inappropriate because of what's happened," she said.

However, she believes change is coming as the New Zealand Cabinet meets on Monday to discuss tighter gun regulations.

"That's why we're here today," she said, after emerging from Christchurch's Gun City store.

"If we do not purchase the guns we'd like, we're going to miss out on that opportunity.

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"It's just being realistic."

New Zealanders buy up on guns as new laws proposed after Christchurch mosque shootings© ABC News Gun sales could increase as the New Zealand Government discusses tightening its gun laws. Even though a crackdown could affect her ability to own guns, she believes stronger laws are justified.

"It's just too easy [to get a licence]," she said.

Ms Pomana, a target shooter, said she would like to see stronger vetting of gun owners, including psychological testing.

"It's about the people behind the gun. A gun can't pick itself up and shoot you. It's about the mentality of the person," she said.

Ms Pomana is a member of a sporting shooters club in Christchurch.

"Guns are very safe in our hands," she said.

"We are definitely only supporters of firearms for sport, not for anything else."

There are an estimated 1.5 million guns in New Zealand and firearm ownership is far more common than in Australia.

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New Zealanders buy up on guns as new laws proposed after Christchurch mosque shootings© ABC News Gun ownership is more common in New Zealand than in Australia, where it is easier to purchase a weapon. Billboards near the Gun City store portray shooting as a lifestyle activity.

One poster advertising an air rifle carries the slogan "Get the family outside".

Another says "Start an adventure".

Christchurch attack is NZ's 'Port Arthur moment'

Jacinda Ardern's Government will consider tighter restrictions on semi-automatic weapons, like the AR15, which was among the arsenal allegedly used by alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant.

The AR15 can be bought using a lower-level category A licence, however it is believed the gunman modified some weapons to increase their capacity.

Gun control campaigners say military-style semi-automatics, which are available on higher-level licences in New Zealand, need to be banned urgently.

"These are the guns that kill people," Professor Kevin Clements, from the University of Otago, said.

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"[A ban] has been strongly resisted by the gun lobby," he said.

Professor Clements believes Friday's attack will change public perceptions about high-powered guns.

"This is a moment … John Howard was able to institute the most far-reaching gun laws in Australia after the Port Arthur massacre," he said.

"Jacinda Ardern and her Government here — and I hope it would be a bipartisan policy — could do exactly the same."

Nicole McKee, secretary of the Coalition of Licenced Firearm Owners, said gun owners were already subjected to a stringent vetting process.

However, she said changes to some gun laws may be appropriate.

"We have made it clear to some government agencies that we are open not to lobby them, but to have some frank discussions about what we can do to assist this country to ensure that this sort of thing cannot happen," she said.

"What we don't want to see is kneejerk legislative changes because they will always have unintended consequences."

'Nobody should have a semi-automatic weapon'

Alaa Osman, whose friends Osama Adnan and Monier Soliman were killed inside the Al Noor mosque, said gun reform was long overdue.

"If someone needs a rifle for target shooting or hunting, OK. I understand that; it's something here in the culture and I totally respect that.

"But why semi-automatic weapons? Nobody should have a semi-automatic weapon. It's just wrong."

Read more

Christchurch imam Gamal Fouda denounces 'evil ideology of white supremacy' at commemoration sermon.
One week on from the Christchurch attacks that killed 51, Al Noor mosque imam Gamal Fouda thanks the people of New Zealand for their "extraordinary" show of solidarity and described them as martyrs of the nation. Here is the partial, lightly-edited transcript of what Mr Fouda said at his commemoration sermon in Hagley Park, across from the Al Noor mosque. Today, from the same place, I look out and I see the love and compassion in the eyes of thousands of fellow New Zealanders and human beings from across the globe that fill the hearts of millions more who are not with us physically, but in spirit.

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