New Zealand's Largest Auction Site Ditches Semiautomatics After Mosque Shootings

Trade Me dropped the weapons after a public outcry as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plans to announce gun reform within days.

New Zealand’s largest online auction site is suspending sales of semiautomatic weapons after the deadly attack on two Christchurch mosques last week that killed 50 people.

Following an outcry from the mass shooting, the site TradeMe said it would also cease listing parts for the guns on Monday.

We have listened to public sentiment following Friday’s terrorist attack in Christchurch and decided to remove all semi-automatic firearms sales and parts associated with those weapons,” CEO Jon Macdonald said in a statement. The sales will be stopped while “we wait for more clarity from the government,” he said.

“We’re obviously still reeling, like all New Zealanders, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families and friends.”

Organizers of New Zealand’s largest gun show, which had been planned for next week, canceled the event out of respect for the mosque victims and because of “elevated security risks,” The Associated Press reported.

The suspected gunman in Friday’s attack had five guns: two semiautomatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm, The Wall Street Journal reported. He held a basic Category A New Zealand gun license, and likely legally purchased the weapons. Police believe he illegally modified an AR-15 with a large magazine.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she will announce gun law reforms within 10 days.

AR-15s were still for sale on Trade Me early Monday. Staffers planned to cull listings for semiautomatic guns and parts by later in the day, Macdonald said. 

Ardern and members of Parliament are meeting Monday to begin discussing a crackdown on weapons. Ardern vowed the morning after the attack that weapons laws would be toughened. “Now is the time for change,” she said. 

The quick action is in marked contrast to the response to American mass shootings, with Republican politicians claiming talk of gun control after an attack is “too soon” and politicizes the problem.

Australia, meanwhile, continued to deal with political fallout after a teenager on Saturday egged Australian Sen. Fraser Anning, who had blamed immigrant Muslims for inspiring the attack on the mosques. Anning punched the teen, and his confederates tackled him. Police released the youth without charges.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for assault charges against Anning. “The full force of the law should be applied to Senator. Anning,” he said, according to AP. Police are investigating.

Anning on Sunday attended a gun show, declaring: “I’m a shooter,” the New Zealand Herald reported.