'The Time To Act Is Now': Jacinda Ardern Promises To Toughen NZ Gun Laws
New Zealand will toughen its gun laws following the Christchurch mosque massacre, Jacinda Ardern has confirmed.
The New Zealand Prime Minister said on Monday that her government's cabinet had already resolved to tighten the country's gun laws, with details to be sorted in coming days.
The Christchurch terror attack has led to a swift review of New Zealand's gun laws, which are not as tight as Australia's. Ardern said the final details could include a buyback scheme, as Australia instituted in 1996 following the Port Arthur massacre.
"Of course if you reflect on what Australia did, that was involved. Those will all be details I'll be announcing in the very near future," she said.
"We are of one mind. We are absolutely united as a cabinet."
Ardern did not announce a ban on any specific type of weapon, but said she thought it was "incredible we've been able to bring together the information needed for the in-principle decision that's already been made."
She has encouraged New Zealanders to surrender their semi-automatic weapons through a voluntary amnesty, as her government works through changes to firearm laws over the next week.
"To make our community safer, the time to act is now," Ardern said.
She also confirmed the country would hold a national commemoration and day of mourning to mark the attack.
"What we want to ensure is that we allow the time and the space for families to be able to bury their loved ones," Ardern said.
"Keeping in mind some have not yet received their loved ones. So our concern was this Friday may not have allowed some of that process on their side to be completed... That's why it will not be this week. We are looking to set a date as soon as I can."
In response to questions about social media, and how the alleged gunman managed to share video of the attack online, the PM said her government was working with Facebook. Ardern said social media companies needed to do more to address extreme content.
"I would call on our social media platforms of all variety to demonstrate the kind of responsibility that both lead to these events and that includes those who perpetuate the messages in the aftermath," she said.
"There's a lot of work that needs to be done."
Ardern's announcement came just hours after the owner of the Gun City store, where the alleged shooter purchased some of his weapons, sought to distance his business from the attack.
The owner defended his business as complying with relevant laws.