New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday vowed to introduce gun law reforms within 10 days. Ardern’s remarks came three days after a terrorist killed 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch.
“Within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer,” Ardern said at a news conference after a Cabinet meeting, according to The Guardian. “These aren’t simple areas of law. So that’s simply what we’ll be taking the time to get right.”
Ardern said gun owners can surrender their weapons to the police “at any time”, the New Zealand Herald reported. “I’ve seen reports that people are in fact already doing this. I applaud that effort and if you’re thinking about surrendering your weapon, I would encourage you to do so.” The Cabinet has agreed “in principle” that gun laws need reform, the daily said.
Trade Me, the biggest auction website in New Zealand, banned semi-automatic guns and associated accessories earlier on Monday.
The New Zealand Police also charged an 18-year-old man with distributing a live stream of the mass shooting, and a court denied him bail. The man, whose name has been withheld, reportedly posted a photo of one of the mosques with the message “target acquired”.
New Zealanders came out in large numbers on Sunday to pay tribute to the 50 people who were killed in Friday’s terror attack. Memorial services and vigils were held all across the country, with Prime Minister Jacinda Arden visiting a service held at the Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington.