The Auckland gunman who shot and killed two people did not hold a firearms licence, it was revealed yesterday, as calls for tougher gun laws intensified in the wake of the shooting.
New Zealand police confirmed the gun used by the shooter was not one of those banned following the March 15 terror attacks, and the gunman was on home detention for convictions that should have prevent him from accessing any guns at all.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the shooter’s weapon was a shotgun freely available to people with a firearms licence.
"However, the individual does not have a firearms licence so clearly he should not have possessed it," he said.
He confirmed that the gunman was on home detention and fitted with an ankle bracelet at the time of the attack.
"The offender is the subject of a sentence of home detention, however, he had an exemption to work at the site, so there is no indication at this stage of a breach," he said.
Matu Reid was sentenced to home detention in March after being convicted of family violence offences. Those offences prohibit a person from being able to obtain a firearms licence.
"The individual is known for primarily family violence history," Coster said.
"There is nothing to suggest he has presented a higher-level risk than what was indicated by that."
Coster said there had been previous searches of the offender's property during which guns were never found.
A firearms register was launched by the New Zealand government in June as the final piece of its gun control legislation implemented in response to the March 15 terror attacks.
The government had promised the register would prevent guns ending up in the hands of criminals.
"I'm really interested to know where this firearm came from," Police Association President Chris Cahill said.
"Obviously it's really early days for the gun registry and one of the key goals of that is to understand where firearms come from."
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins did not rule out more gun control measures but stressed it was "too early" to make decisions.
ACT's David Seymour said there were “serious questions” about what more could be done to stop bad people obtaining firearms.
"How could such a person convicted of domestic violence be out on home detention and how could such a person, who was clearly not fit and proper, procure a firearm? I think it's really important we understand all of the facts around that,” he said.
Police assured New Zealanders that the shooter was not politically or ideologically motivated and that there was no ongoing threat.
Coster said he believed the gunman’s motivation was connected to his employment.