On Monday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she and her Cabinet agreed in principle to a set of changes to the country's gun laws that will be unveiled within 10 days. In her news conference, Ardern also announced an investigation into what intelligence and security services "knew or could or should have known" about the plans of a 28-year-old Australian man arrested for killing 50 people and wounding 40 others at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, "including his access to weapons and whether they could have been in a position to prevent the attack."
Also on Monday, the owner of Christchurch gun shop Gun City, David Tipple, said his store had sold the alleged gunman, Brenton Tarrant, four guns and ammunition through a "police-verified online mail order process." None of the weapons were semiautomatic, military-style rifles, he said. Ardern said the gunman used five guns, including two semiautomatic rifles modified after they were purchased legally. Currently, people need a license to own guns in New Zealand — 99.6 percent of the 43,509 applications were approved in 2017, The Washington Post reports — and Ardern has discussed banning semiautomatic weapons and requiring a license for each weapon.
Tarrant appeared in court on Saturday and then fired his state-appointed lawyer, saying he wants to represent himself. "He seemed quite clear and lucid," the lawyer, Richard Peters, told the New Zealand Herald. "He didn't appear to me to be facing any challenges or mental impairment, other than holding fairly extreme views." There is concern Tarrant will try to use his trial to spread his professed racially extremist, white nationalist views.