Currently in New Zealand, for just $25, anyone can step off a plane in New Zealand and get a firearms licence. All they have to do is show documentation to the police, at the airport, that he or she holds a firearms licence in their country of origin.
They can then go into a hunting store, or online, and purchase a military style semi automatic (MSSA) rifle such as an AR-15 – the weapon of choice for the terrorist who shot dozens of people in Christchurch mosques on Friday afternoon.
Britain’s MI5 is investigating potential links between the alleged Christchurch terrorist and domestic extremist groups after the accused gunman made an explicit threat against London mayor Sadiq Khan.
A hunting guide and former soldier says he raised concerns with police about the gun club where the alleged mosque terrorist was a member.
Pete Breidahl says he saw members of the Bruce Rifle Club with the confederate flag – a symbol of white nationalism – and talking with “strong feelings” about the right to carry arms, as well as complaining that New Zealand’s relaxed stance on refugees would lead to terror attacks.
But the vice-president of the club rejected any links to white nationalism and said any investigation of its members would prove the allegations to be “unfounded”.
“I think we’re feeling bit stunned and shocked and a bit betrayed perhaps, that we’ve had this person in our club who has ended up doing these horrible things,” Williams told the Otago Daily Times.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed a complete ban on semi-automatics, or a “buy back” plan, were on the table. Firearms owners have already posted online about “panic buying”, where people were rushing to stores to purchase firearms.
Like Australia, such reform will be met with stiff resistance from the gun lobby in New Zealand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is also seeking advice on any possible deportation of the man accused of the mosque shootings.
Image: Mark Mitchell