New Zealand Shooting: 'I Can Tell You One Thing Now, Our Gun Laws Will Change' Says PM

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country will change its gun laws following the mass shootings on Friday.

Forty-nine people were killed and dozens more were left injured in two separate attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.

Ardern, who described the atrocity as a "terrorist attack" and "one of New Zealand's darkest days," vowed to impose stricter gun laws.

"While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now: Our gun laws will change," she said at a news conference on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, an Australian citizen was arrested and charged with murder during a brief court appearance.

Ardern added that the gunman reportedly had five firearms on him when he carried out the assault - two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm.

The suspected attacker, who identifies himself as 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, reportedly acquired a gun license in November 2017.

Two more people, whose identity remains unknown as yet, were also arrested. A fourth person who was apprehended but has since been released as he "was a member of the public who was in possession of a firearm, but with the intention of assisting police."

New Zealand has previously tried to change its gun laws, with the most recent attempt coming two years ago. Ardern suggested "now is the time for change" and hinted she was closely looking at rules regulating ownership of semi-automatic weapons.

"As soon as New Zealanders hear that someone was legally able to acquire, as I'm advised, those weapons and carry out this event, that will raise enormous questions with our gun laws, and that is why we will respond swiftly," she explained.

Her stance was welcomed by New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

"I was very happy to hear the prime minister's comments this morning that there will be a change in the gun law, but I can't say any more than that," he told reporters on Saturday.

Australia imposed stricter rules on gun control and bought back firearms after a mass shooting left 35 people dead and 23 injured at a cafe in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in 1996.

Ardern, however, stopped short of suggesting New Zealand could implement a similar policy in the wake of the attacks in Christchurch.

She added none of the three people who were arrested had a criminal history in Australia or New Zealand and were not not on the police's watch-list in either country.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media on March 16 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Prime Minister announced Thursday that all weapons considered military-style semi-automatic guns and all assault rifles would be banned in the country. Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images
New Zealand Shooting: 'I Can Tell You One Thing Now, Our Gun Laws Will Change' Says PM | World