Tarrant bought firearms online from Gun City

Gun City owner David Tipple at a fiery press conference in Christchurch yesterday afternoon. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Gun City owner David Tipple at a fiery press conference in Christchurch yesterday afternoon. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The Christchurch terror suspect bought four of his firearms online from Gun City, along with ammunition.

The owner of the gun shop chain, David Tipple, confirmed the purchases during a fiery media conference in Christchurch at which he was grilled by local and international reporters yesterday afternoon.

Mr Tipple began by reading a statement in which he extended his and his staff's sympathies to the families of the victims before paying tribute to police and medical professionals.

He then said alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant bought four firearms and ammunition from Gun City through a police-verified online mail order process.

''We detected nothing extraordinary about this licence holder.''

Gun City sold Tarrant category A firearms able to be bought with a standard firearms licence but not the military-style semi-automatic he allegedly used during the killings, Mr Tipple said.

The guns sold were bought through three or four separate orders.

''We didn't sell him the rifle used in the incident,'' Mr Tipple said.

''I watched the video and saw the rifle and it was not from any Gun City affiliated store.''

However, Mr Tipple said he was unable to verify whether the shotgun believed to have been used by Tarrant was bought from Gun City.

His company would fully co-operate with police and the Government during the upcoming review of firearms legislation, he said.

''Accurate concerns have been raised and we want to assist in ensuring effective responses.''

However, before beginning a lengthy question and answer session, he asked the throng of reporters to ''refrain from turning today's conference into a gun debate''.

True to his word, he bristled at questions asking him about his support for specific gun control measures, at one stage threatening to end the news conference.

He said it was a matter to be discussed at a later date.

''I have strong views on the matter and have positive suggestions to make, and will do so at a more appropriate time,'' he said.

He warned against emotional responses regarding the legal right to hold firearms.

''We are not a country of emotional responses, we are a country of laws,'' he said.

The Otago Daily Times asked if he planned to review controversial advertising, including a billboard showing children firing rifles.

He said he would.

He also confirmed his shops had remained open on Saturday, the day after the massacres.

•Dunedin IT professional Alex King staged a lone protest against the sale of semi-automatic weapons outside the Dunedin branch of Gun City yesterday.

''Everyone has been shocked and thinking 'What can I do?' and I decided that this was what I could do,'' he said.

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