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Mosque massacre: New Zealand PM vows to toughen gun control laws

Mosque massacre: New Zealand PM vows to toughen gun control laws
Christchurch: The man suspected of murdering 49 people in two New Zealand mosques had a small arsenal of semi-automatic weapons and a valid gun license, the country's prime minister said Saturday, as she vowed legal reforms.

Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference that she would consider banning semi-automatic firearms altogether after the alleged gunman behind the shootings obtained five guns legally.

"The offender was in possession of a gun licence. I'm advised that this was acquired in November of 2017," said Jacinda Ardern.

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change."

Ardern described the spree killing as a terrorist attack and said the shooter — who was not on any watchlist and did not have a criminal record — had legally purchased the two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and lever-action gun he used.

The offender was in possession of a gun licence since November 2017 and he started purchasing the weapons the following month, she said.

A right-wing terrorist filmed himself rampaging through two mosques in the quiet New Zealand city of Christchurch killing 49 worshipers during Friday prayers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Saturday the victims were from across the Muslim world, with Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia among the countries rendering consular assistance.