Trade Me will "consider" making interim changes to the sale of hundreds of semi-automatic rifles listed on their site, as the Prime Minister prepares gun law reform.

A Cabinet meeting today, set to focus entirely on the Christchurch mosque shootings, is expected to outline a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons and tighter controls on gun ownership.

Meanwhile, Gun City is coming under fire over "poor taste" billboards spotted in Christchurch and Wellington. The store advertisement shows a man teaching two children how to aim at a target, with the quote "Get the family outside".

Gun City owner David Tipple is expected to hold a press conference this morning to address concerns about the billboard and the store.


In the wake of Friday's Christchurch mosque terror attack in which 50 people were killed, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern swiftly declared "there will be changes to our gun laws".

However, with the enactment of any New Zealand gun law reform to take time, the purchase of semi-automatic and pump action shotguns online through Trade Me remains readily available.

On the Trade Me website there are 132 semi-automatic and pump action shotguns for sale.

Some shotguns available held a dozen shells in their magazines.

There are also more than 680 rifles for sale on the site, many of which are semi-automatic.

There are over 100 semi-automatic shotguns available for purchase on TradeMe.
There are over 100 semi-automatic shotguns available for purchase on TradeMe.

In a statement to the Herald, a Trade Me spokesperson said the company "supports tighter gun control" and has advocated for a New Zealand firearms register for years.

"After these terrible events, we've been asking ourselves what this means for our current approach," the spokesperson said.

"We're awaiting the Government's announcement and we understand that changes to gun control could be spelled out as soon as tomorrow.


"We're committed to reviewing the Government's approach and acting speedily regarding any specific changes to NZ firearms law that the Government makes clear. We'll also ensure that Trade Me's approach continues to go over and above the minimum legal requirements.

"Taking steps on an interim basis prior to any legislation coming into effect is something we will consider when we know more."

The 28-year-old Australian man charged with murder over the mosque shootings, Brenton Tarrant, obtained a New Zealand gun licence in November 2017 and legally bought the weapons he began purchasing a year later.

He was reportedly a member of a rifle club in Dunedin and practised shooting an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle there. It was an AR-15 modified to be fully automatic that was thought to have been used in the shootings.

At present it is the gun owner that is licensed rather than the weapons themselves in New Zealand.

Ardern would not be drawn today on calls for an immediate moratorium on the sales, imports and advertising of semi-automatic weapons following media reports that people were "panic buying" ahead of any ban.

"I have heard and seen reports, but as yet unverified, of potential activity but as yet I haven't received official advice as to whether or not there has been any change in purchases. That's something I have asked for follow up information," she said.

The Trade Me spokesperson said the platform already does "heavily restrict the types of firearms that can be listed on site to those most commonly used by hunters, recreational shooters or in rural communities as tools on farms".

There are over 100 semi-automatic shotguns available for purchase on TradeMe.
There are over 100 semi-automatic shotguns available for purchase on TradeMe.

Trade Me does not allow the sale of pistols, Military Style Semi-Automatic weapons, parts which could change an 'A' category firearm into an MSSA, or restricted weapons.

The also require buyers to provide a valid New Zealand firearms licence in order to bid, buy or ask a question on a firearms listing on Trade Me.

Trade Me also has a relationship with NZ Police where they verify firearms licences provided against the Police National Firearms Database.

Ardern indicated today she had the support of Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters for the changes, despite past opposition from New Zealand First on the issue of tighter gun control.

She was careful to reiterate that any legislative changes would take some time.

The PM said security agencies would update Cabinet ministers tomorrow and those agencies would also be discussed.