As in New Zealand, where assault weapons have been banned following the Christchurch massacre, mass shootings have prompted stricter gun controls in some countries.

Here are some notable examples.


After the April 1996 Port Arthur massacre of 35 people, tougher new gun laws included a general ban on the use of semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and pump-action shotguns, except for specific purposes.

They also required owners to provide a genuine reason for possessing a gun and to undergo safety training.

More than 600,000 weapons, including semi-automatics, were destroyed after being handed over to officials in a multi-million dollar buy-back programme.


Tighter controls on gun ownership were introduced after the 1987 massacre of 16 people near Hungerford in southern England by a gunman with a firearms licence.

The laws expanded prohibited weapons to most semi-automatic and smooth-bore shotguns, as well as self-loading or pump-action shotguns, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey research project.

Following the 1996 massacre of 16 pupils and a teacher in the Scottish town of Dunblane, there was also a ban on most handguns, the project says in a 2011 report.

European Union

The European Union in 2017 approved laws obliging member states to tighten controls on weapons and the issuing of gun licences.

This included enforcing licensing of blank-firing firearms, which can be easily converted to fire live ammunition, and were used in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris in which 12 people were killed.

There were also stricter controls on certain semi-automatic firearms.


Tougher handgun laws went into effect in Finland in June 2011 amid outrage over school massacres in 2007 and 2008, which left eight and ten people dead respectively.

The new legislation raised the minimum age for a handgun permit from 18 to 20, required applicants to be trained by a police-approved instructor at a gun club and obliged medical and military personnel to report anyone they feel is mentally or socially unsuitable to own a gun.

Norway plans to ban semi-automatic firearms as of 2021, a decade after right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik's mass shooting that left 69 people dead, lawmakers said last year.


Gun laws were tightened after two school massacres in the eastern city of Erfurt in April 2002 and in the southwestern town of Winnenden in March 2009, both of which were also carried out with legal weapons.

The country, which has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe, now requires anyone younger than 25 to pass a psychiatric exam before applying for a gun licence.

United States

Despite a bloody record of mass shootings by civilians, legal moves to tighten gun controls have mostly been limited to state level.

Florida, for example, pushed through stricter controls after the 2018 Valentine's Day killing of 17 people at a high school, including a "red flag" law allowing judges to order the seizure of guns from people deemed to be mentally unstable.

The state also raised the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21.

The sale and possession of devices known as bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire as fast as illegal machine guns, were also banned.

In December 2018, US President Donald Trump barred them at the national level.

Amid resistance from the powerful gun lobby and with the Constitution guaranteeing the right to bear arms, significant nationwide reform has been elusive, although politicians last month presented Congress with a bill that would require universal background checks prior to gun purchases.