What we know about the gun used in the mosque massacre in New Zealand, where gun laws are some of the most lax in the developed world

christchurch shooting

A deadly massacre in New Zealand on Friday has already sparked a debate about the country’s gun-control laws.
A gunman fatally shot 49 people and injured dozens more in two Christchurch mosques.
Though police haven’t released information about the weapons used in the shooting, photos and videos appear to show that the suspect used semi-automatic rifles covered in writing that alluded to other mass shooters and extremists.
New Zealand already has a number of gun-control laws in place, including a licensing system, but there has been vigorous debate within the last year about regulating “military-style semi-automatic” rifles.
Read our full coverage of the New Zealand shooting here.

A deadly shooting rampage in New Zealand on Friday has already sparked debate about the country’s gun-control laws, after a shooter mowed down dozens of worshippers at two Christchurch mosques.

Authorities said 49 people were killed, 48 more were injured, and multiple suspects were arrested. New Zealand police have not formally identified the accused gunman, but said a 28-year-old man has been charged with murder.

Police also have not yet released information about the weapon used in the shooting spree or how the suspect obtained it. But live-streamed video of the shooting and photos from a now-defunct Twitter account believed to be the suspect’s show what appear to be semi-automatic rifles and magazines covered in symbols and white writing, some of it in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Some of the writing referred to infamous mass shooters and extremists, such as an Italian national who injured six African migrants last year, and a Canadian man who fatally shot six people in a Quebec City mosque in January 2017.

Read more: Heartbreaking images from inside the New Zealand mosque show wounded people, bodies, and bullet cases after mass shooting killed 49

Writing on the guns also referred to Ebba Akerlund, an 11-year-old victim of a 2017 terror attack in Sweden, according to the Associated Press. White supremacists have frequently touted the girl’s death as a racist excuse to seek “revenge” on Muslims.

In the wake of Friday’s attack, potential gun reform measures are already on the minds of some prominent New Zealanders. Former Prime Minister Helen Clark told ABC News she believed the tragedy would prompt change.

“Personally, I would be surprised if the New Zealand parliament didn’t accept that challenge head-on to strengthen the law,” she said. “We do have gun control. People have to be fit and proper persons to have guns, but undoubtedly the law can be strengthened and improved.”

Guns for the ‘fit and proper’ — with some loopholes

New Zealand’s 5 million residents own a cumulative 1.2 million firearms, according to data from the 2017 Small Arms Survey. That figure dwarfs Australia’s per-capita gun ownership rate, where there are just 3.6 million guns among a population of nearly 25 million.

But both countries still pale in …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Politics

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