Kiwis have reportedly been rushing out to buy guns in case the NZ gun laws change

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media on March 16, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo by Mark Tantrum/Getty Images

New Zealanders are stocking up on guns and supplies ahead of an anticipated tightening of gun laws following the Christchurch mosque massacre, according to Newsroom.

Gun shops reportedly experienced a surge in sales, Newsroom reported on Sunday, adding that the Christchurch branch of Gun City was full of people buying guns and equipment on Saturday. Further north, in Auckland, an unnamed gun shop owner reportedly had a significant increase in the sales of semi-automatic weapon and multiple phone enquiries about how much stock was left in store.

Kiwi gun enthusiasts said they’d heard there was an increase in purchases of semi-automatic weapons and accessories around the country on Facebook group Kiwi Gun Blog.

Fifty people are confirmed dead and another 34 remain in hospital after a gunman opened fire on Muslim worshippers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch on Friday. Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder and is believed to have widely released a white nationalist manifesto before the killings.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to try and gain support for more restrictive gun laws when she meets Cabinet on Monday after declaring over the weekend that New Zealand’s gun laws “need to change” and “will change”.

More than 99% of people who apply for a gun license in New Zealand are successful, according to police data. In 2017, 43,321 applications were granted of the 43,509 submitted.

New Zealand’s online auction site Trade Me announced this morning that it’s halting the sale of semi-automatic weapons while it awaits more clarity from the government.

The company stressed it already restricts the sale of certain types of firearms on the site.

“Our view is that trading between licensed owners via Trade Me in a safe, trusted, transparent and traceable environment is better for New Zealand than many of the alternatives,” said the company.

“But it is clear public sentiment has changed in relation to semi-automatic weapons and we acknowledge that, which is why we’re putting this ban in place.”

Meanwhile, firearms retailer Gun City has come under fire for maintaining a billboard outside Christchurch in the wake of the massacre.

The owner David Tipple is reportedly holding a press conference this afternoon.

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