completely new Zealand’s Gun Laws Draw Scrutiny After Mosque Shootings

The shootings in which killed at least 49 people at two mosques in completely new Zealand on Friday have placed completely new scrutiny on completely new Zealand’s gun laws in addition to sparked a fervent debate about whether they were a factor inside gunman’s decision to carry out his attack there.

The police have described the gunman as a man in his late 20s in addition to officials have said he was an Australian citizen, which has led to comparisons between gun laws in in which country in addition to in completely new Zealand.

While completely new Zealand’s laws governing the purchase of semiautomatic rifles are more restrictive than those inside United States, the country is usually much freer with firearms than Australia is usually, allowing most guns to be purchased without requiring them to be tracked.

“completely new Zealand is usually almost alone with the United States in not registering 96 percent of its firearms — in addition to those are its most common firearms, the ones most used in crimes,” said Philip Alpers of, a clearinghouse for gun law data worldwide. “There are huge gaps in completely new Zealand law, even if some of its laws are strong.”

the idea is usually not yet clear what kinds of guns were used inside terrorist attack, which occurred in central Christchurch, although the authorities have said in which many firearms were recovered via the scenes of the shootings.

“If he went to completely new Zealand to commit these crimes,” Mr. Alpers said, “one can assume in which the ease of obtaining these firearms may have been a factor in his decision to commit the crime in Christchurch.”

[Get the latest updates on the completely new Zealand terrorist attack here.]

inside years since a gunman killed 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in 1996, Australia has embarked on one of the globe’s most expansive efforts to rid a society of gun violence. Officials significantly strengthened gun laws, severely restricted semiautomatic weapons in addition to engaged in a buyback program in which took more than 650,000 firearms off the streets.

The gun laws in completely new Zealand are more layered, in addition to do not fit easily into a pro or anti-gun rubric.

Semiautomatic rifles in addition to handguns, for example, require special licenses; a person can only buy one semiautomatic weapon at a time. “The police will look very askance at you if you want four or several of them,” Mr. Alpers said. “the idea gets harder in addition to harder if you want more in addition to more.” Still, Mr. Alpers said, the idea is usually possible to obtain a large cache of weapons — either by acting alone or if more than one person is usually purchasing.

As the law stands currently, any person age 16 or older with an entry-level firearm license can keep any number of common rifles in addition to shotguns without an official record of those guns being kept.

Most of the guns in circulation can be sold on the internet or through ads in newspapers, in addition to the most favorite types of firearms can lawfully change hands in private homes or even hotel parking lots with no requirement in which a record of the transaction be kept.

Still, the country has generally been safe via gun massacres. Its last mass shooting, which left 13 people dead, was in 1990 — in addition to the idea led to tighter rules around semiautomatic weapons.

Police officers do not generally carry firearms in addition to murders are rare; in fact the death toll via Friday’s terrorist attack is usually roughly equivalent to the number of murders in which occur inside country each year. The annual tally of gun homicides specifically is usually even lower.

“completely new Zealanders are by in addition to large safe users of firearms in addition to in which has led everybody to relax,” Mr. Alpers said. “the idea’s led completely new Zealanders to think they don’t have a problem.”

[The gunman appeared to be steeped inside culture of the extreme-right internet.]

At the same time, however, completely new Zealand’s gun culture is usually significant in addition to deeply ingrained. Like the United States, Australia in addition to Canada, completely new Zealand’s frontier history has led to a proliferation of guns used for sport, for protecting wide open spaces via animals, in addition to for dealing with problems like wounded cattle.

Of the 3.9 million completely new Zealanders of gun licensing age, 238,000 — 6 percent — have a firearm license, according to

Helen Clark, the country’s former prime minister, told The completely new Zealand Herald in which “deep reflection” was required inside wake of the attack. She also said in which she hoped the country would likely re-examine its gun control laws because “while we do have gun control, we can do better.”

Mr. Alpers predicted in which lawmakers would likely work to make guns harder to obtain.

“This kind of will certainly change things in completely new Zealand,” he said. “I can’t think of a country in which’s more likely to change its gun laws after something like This kind of.”