Christchurch Dealer who Sold Arms to Mosque Attacker Rejects Responsibility

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, has been charged with murder and appeared at court on Saturday. He is due to appear in court again on 5 April.

"The MSSA, the military-style semi auto reportedly used by the alleged gunman, was not purchased from Gun City".

Before Friday, New Zealand's worst mass shooting was in 1990 when a man killed 13 men, women and children in a 24-hour rampage in the seaside village of Aramoana. While authorities termed it as an act of terror, Tarrant said his act was to 'defend our land from invaders.' He has since sacked his lawyer, reported New Zealand Herald.

Tipple said the online purchase followed a police-verified online mail-order process and the firearms were bought in three or four purchases.

Gun laws in New Zealand are more restrictive than those in the United States, though firearms are common throughout the country. "There is no valid reason to own fully or semi automatic weapons in New Zealand".

About 250,000 people possess firearms licences in the country of under five million people, with conservative estimates suggesting a total of 1.5 million weapons.

"Until today I was one of the New Zealanders who owned a semi-automatic rifle".

After Ardern vowed at the weekend to change the gun laws, there were media reports that people were rushing to buy guns before any ban was implemented.

Within two minutes of its receipt, Ms Ardern said the email - which she confirmed she had read parts of - was forwarded by her office to parliamentary security.


Facebook said it had removed as many as 1.5 million videos of the attack from its site in the first 24 hours and that "all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content" were also being deleted.

She said: "While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now".

Families of victims were still waiting for bodies of those killed to be released after post mortems, with some of the dead to be taken overseas for burial.

The retail owner said he did not feel responsible for the shootings.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said Monday that Tarrant had visited the country for tourism, and that authorities probing his trip from November 9-15 past year had found no suspicious activities. The decision was motivated by "respect for the people affected by this tragedy and the concerns of local authorities", she said.

"Identification hearings will start this afternoon and we are anticipating that the process of returning the deceased will commence tonight", Judge Marshall said.

The two mosques involved in the shootings have been closed since the massacre, but are expected to reopen by Friday prayers after cleansing blessings were carried out. "I imagine the opposition will be supportive".

With a handful of picketers outside Tipple's Gun City store this morning to voice their opposition to the continued sale of high-powered firearms in Christchurch, one of protesters, Reina Dornan, told Xinhua, "I'm not blaming any body, but I think mistakes were made that allowed this to happen, so I came down here to say that I support gun law changes", she said.


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