New Zealand prime minister says shooting suspect was a licensed gun owner

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Speaking at a press conference on Saturday morning, Ms Ardern said the Australian man, identified as Brenton Tarrant, suspected of carrying out the terrorist act had used five firearms in the attacks, including two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm.

Unlike in the United States, where calls for greater gun control after mass shootings are often met by deaf ears when it comes to federal regulation, three mass shootings - only one of which happened in New Zealand - prompted legislative changes.

The government advised people not to go to mosques until further notice. As New Zealand has stood by us so we stand shoulder to shoulder with them, and with Muslims in New Zealand, here in the United Kingdom and around the world.

Mohan Ilbrahim, a worshipper who witnessed one of the attacks inside a mosque told NBC's Today Show when he first heard the sound of the shots he thought it was "an electric short circuit" but soon realised it was a shooting after the windows began smashing.

"Then people started running out".

All mosques in New Zealand had been asked to shut their doors, police said. He walks back into the mosque, where there are at least two dozen people lying on the ground. The singer bellows, "I am the god of hellfire!" and the gunman drives off.

"An expert testified before parliament in 2016 that it was only a matter of time before a mass shooting occurred in New Zealand", he told SBS News. He also had more assault weapons in the trunk of his auto, along with what appeared to be explosives.

US Senator Dianne Feinstein speaks at an event to appeal for the renewal of a ban on assault weapons
Semi-automatic AR-15s on sale at a Utah gun range Semi-automatic AR-15s on sale at a Utah gun range

He portrayed himself as a racist and a fascist and raged against non-Westerners, but said China is the nation that most aligns with his political and social values. The gunman, who killed 49 worshipers in his attack, decried Muslims as "invaders" in a manifesto posted online.

In tweets and a Facebook post late Thursday evening, Scheer condemned an attack on freedom and "peaceful worshippers" but did not make note of the fact the worshippers were Muslims.

The primary suspect was an Australian citizen who "travelled sporadically to New Zealand and stayed for varied amount of time", Ardern told reporters.

"I have been calling my friends but there are many I haven't heard from".

Those new amendments included greater oversight over the acquisition of ammunition, restricting sales to only firearms license holders and requiring permits for people to order guns or ammunition by mail, updating and adding more information including photographs to individuals'gun licenses, and requiring secure storage for guns.

Givealitte: This New Zealand-based crowdfunding platform is hosting a live campaign where people can donate for victim support.

Christchurch was the home of these victims.

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