Friday's mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was the worst in the country in nearly three decades. With at least 49 people confirmed dead, that tops the 35 homicides that were reported in New Zealand during 2017.
That mass shooting sparked more stringent gun laws in New Zealand, which were first passed in 1983, the newspaper reported. However, New Zealand's gun regulations are considered more relaxed than many other countries, including the United States. Debate after the 1990 attack led to a 1993 amendment that regulated military-style weapons, CNN reported.
New Zealand's gun laws currently operate on a "licensing but no registration" system, meaning that a majority of firearms in the country do not need to be registered, the Australian Financial Review reported. The system does include background and reference checks, along with safety training and a written test, the newspaper reported.
A person must be at least 16 to own a gun, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Carrying a gun is only allowed for people who have a "lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose," such as hunting, pest control or sports shooting, the newspaper reported. Self-defense is not considered a reason to own a gun, the Morning Herald reported.
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