New Zealand cabinet to implement gun law reforms

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would give further details reforming gun laws following the mass shooting in Christchurch. (AFP)
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Gun City store owner David Tipple (R) with his public relation advisor David Linch speak to the media during a press conference at the Piano Event Centre in Christchurch on March 18th, 2019, after 50 worshippers were killed last week in two mosque attacks, the worst on Muslims in a Western country. (AFP / Marty Melville)
Updated 18 March 2019

New Zealand cabinet to implement gun law reforms

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to give further details
  • Christchurch gun shop on acknowledges selling guns online to the attacker

CHRISTCHURCH/WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that her cabinet had made in principle decisions around the reform of gun laws following the mass shooting in Christchurch.

“I intend to give further details of these decisions to the media and the public before cabinet meets again next Monday,” she said at a press conference.

“This ultimately means that within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer.”

She said an inquiry will look at the lead up to attack and what might have been done differently.

A Christchurch gun shop on Monday acknowledged selling guns online to the 28-year-old white supremacist accused of killing 50 people in mosque shootings that have upturned New Zealand’s reputation as among the world’s most tolerant and safe nations.
At a news conference, Gun City owner David Tipple said the store sold four guns and ammunition to Brenton Harrison Tarrant through a “police-verified online mail order process.”
He said none of the weapons were military style semi-automatic weapons.
“We detected nothing extraordinary about this license holder,” Tipple said, referring to the shooter. Tipple said he and staff are “dismayed and disgusted” by Friday’s shootings.
His store has been criticized for leaving out a roadside advertising billboard that shows a parent helping children with rifle target practice in the wake of the shootings.
Three days after the attack, New Zealand’s deadliest shooting in modern history, relatives were anxiously waiting for word on when they can bury their loved ones. Islamic tradition calls for bodies to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible after death, usually within 24 hours.
Aya Al-Umari, whose older brother Hussien Al-Umari died at the Al Noor mosque, wept as she talked about a kind man, a quintessential big brother who delighted in teasing his little sister.
Tarrant, an Australian citizen who lived in New Zealand, appeared in court on Saturday amid strict security, shackled and wearing all-white prison garb.
He showed no emotion when the judge read one murder charge and said more charges would likely follow. The New Zealand Herald reported Monday that he had dismissed his appointed lawyer and plans to defend himself.
Tarrant had posted a muddled, 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto online before the attacks and apparently used a helmet-mounted camera to broadcast live video of the slaughter.
Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos of the shootings during the first 24 hours after the massacre. The revelation in a tweet provided a chilling snapshot of how quickly provocative and often disturbing images circulate on the Internet.

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Updated 1 min 43 sec ago

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

  • The queen is marking Easter by attending a service with other senior royals

LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 93rd birthday, which this year coincides with Easter Sunday.
The queen is marking Easter by attending a service with other senior royals at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle, west of London.
She was joined by Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, whose wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is expecting their first child in the coming weeks and did not attend.
Harry and Meghan did post a birthday greeting for the queen on their Instagram page: “Happy Birthday Your Majesty, Ma’am, Granny. Wishing you the most wonderful day! Harry & Meghan.”
The queen’s birthday is marked this year by an unusual sunny spell that has sent flowers blooming on the extensive castle grounds.
Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen. She marks her official birthday in June with the Trooping the Color parade.
The two-birthday tradition dates back more than 250 years, when it was instituted by King George II.
Elizabeth is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She still maintains an active schedule, although she does not travel as often as she used to.
Her 97-year-old husband, Prince Philip, has retired from public duties and did not attend the service.