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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Suspect in Mosque Shootings Bought Weapons Online but Not the Rifle Used

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – The suspected perpetrator of the mosque attacks in New Zealand bought weapons and ammunition from an online gun store, but not the rifle shown in the video being used in the massacre, the owner of the business said on Monday.

David Tipple, an owner of Gun City, said at a press conference that he had sold four weapons in category A and ammunition in three or four separate transactions verified by the police between November 2017 and March 2018.

The Australian Brenton Tarrant is in custody after being charged on Saturday with one count of murder.

The first purchase took place in the same month in which Tarrant obtained the arms license from authorities in New Zealand where, according to a manifesto he wrote, he had moved to train for the attack.

“We detected nothing extraordinary about the license holder,” Tipple said.

The owner said that the sales did not include the semi-automatic weapons that Tarrant used during the attack which was broadcast live on Facebook.

“I watched the video and saw the rifle... and it was not from any Gun City affiliated store,” Tipple said.

In a statement, Gun City showed its “full support” for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement that the gun laws would be amended and offered his cooperation to “ensure that any review and changes to legislation prevent a recurrence.”

During the press conference, Tipple said he did not want to address the gun debate and said that this discussion was what the assailant sought.

“This man wrote in his manifesto that the purpose of using a firearm was to divide us; if we allow him to make changes in our ideology and our behavior then he’s won,” he said.

In the aftermath of the attack, Ardern said the gun license the suspected perpetrator held enabled him to acquire the firearms legally.

“I can tell you one thing right now: our gun laws will change,” Ardern said.

Police Commissioner Michael Bush has said he believes that Tarrant was the sole perpetrator of the attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch in which 50 people were killed.

 

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