New Zealand leader vows to alter gun laws

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The attacker, identified as Brenton Tarrant, a self-declared Australian white supremacist was arraigned in court and charged with murder following his arrest.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reportedly wants answers from Facebook regarding how this happened, and said that the responsibility for the removal of videos from the scene ultimately rested with social media platforms.

The changes, agreed to in principle by the country's coalition government Monday (March 18) - just 72 hours after the deadliest act of gun violence in New Zealand history - put the country in line with others that have taken swift action following tragedy within their borders.

New Zealand Police earlier said that the first body belonging to a victim of Friday's massacre had been released to their family.

"I strongly believe that the vast majority of gun owners in New Zealand will agree with the sentiment that change needs to occur", Ardern said, according to CNN.

However, Tipple said he was not able to verify whether the shotgun used was purchased from Gun City.

Peters confirmed Tarrant informed him of his intention to represent himself in court where he faces one charge of murder and is widely expected to be charged with more.

In vowing to tighten gun laws, Ms Ardern has said the attacker used five guns, two of them semi-automatic, which were purchased with an ordinary gun licence and modified.

Tarrant had been living in the southern city of Dunedin, around 225 miles from Christchurch and had traveled around the world, including Turkey and Pakistan.

"There's been a number of other inquiries since, the most recent in 2016, where a Select Committee Inquiry made 20 recommendations for changes to gun laws".

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Rehanna Ali, from the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, said: "These people died in prayer, on their way to prayer, on our holy day, a Friday, in the precincts of our holy places".

The store has been criticized for leaving out a roadside advertising billboard that shows a parent helping children with rifle target practice.

"We are very fortunate to be here in New Zealand with people ... who understand our culture and our religion", he said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and police have called Tarrant a terrorist.

The social media giant, however, failed to confirm that it'd deleted all the videos from the platform.

Australia introduced some of the world's toughest gun laws after its worst mass killing, the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in which a lone gunman killed 35 people using a USA staple of mass shootings in that country - the semi-automatic AR-15, the same weapon used in the Christchurch terror attacks.

Ardern also said that the heightened police presence seen in Christchurch on Monday would continue, adding that the officers were there for reassurance and as a precaution rather than in light of any other immediate threat.

"It's very unsettling not knowing what's going on", Ms Aya said.

People take pictures on a pedestrian bridge, illuminated with colors of New Zealand's national flag as a tribute to victims of the mosque shootings in Christchurch, in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 17, 2019.

Authorities say they hope to release all the bodies by Wednesday.