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New Zealand Cabinet backs tighter gun laws after Christchurch shootings

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has said she will announce detailed gun law reforms within days, after an attack on two mosques left fifty people dead.

Ms Ardern said her cabinet had backed gun law changes in principle.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a self-described white supremacist, has been charged with murder.

Police say the killer used military-style assault weapons modified to make them more deadly for the attack all of which is legal under current laws.

Friday’s events had sparked calls for reform, with Ms Ardern saying soon after that the gun laws will change.

Ms Ardern was appearing alongside her coalition partner and Deputy PM Winston Peters, who has previously opposed changes.

No specific details were given by the prime minister at her press conference today, but she said they would made clear by 25 March.

She also announced that an inquiry would look into the lead-up to the attacks, and what might have been done differently.

At the weekend, Ms Ardern said the suspect had a gun licence, obtained in November 2017, and owned five guns.

Since the attack there have been calls for semi-automatic weapons to be banned, a regulation that exists in Australia and Canada.

Previous attempts to tighten gun laws have failed due to a strong gun lobby and a culture of hunting.

The minimum legal age to own a gun is 16, or 18 for military-style semi-automatic weapons.

Many public vigils were held across the country over the weekend and more are planned for this week.

Nine people remain in hospital in a critical condition.



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