The New Zealand police responded to reports of shots being fired at a building in downtown Auckland, where the opening match of the Women’s World Cup will take place later in the day. Three people have been confirmed dead.

The World Cup fan zone nearby had not yet opened for the day, according to police, who said the problem had been restricted to a single building under construction in lower Queen Street. Police advised people to avoid the area or, if already there, to remain inside their buildings.

New Zealand passed new gun laws in 2022 as part of its commitment to combatting firearms violence. “In the hands of the wrong people, firearms are a major contributing factor in a range of serious crimes. It’s also clear that there are responsible firearms owners whose possession and use of firearms does not pose a risk to society,” then Police Minister Chris Hipkins had said.

After the passage of the Bill, anyone found guilty and given a sentence for a specific violent crime, such as murder, major assault, sexual assault, or certain family violence offenses, could be subject to an order that prevents them from possessing or using a firearm.

In New Zealand, 16 is the minimum age to legally possess a gun; for military-style semi-automatic weapons, the required age is 18. Anyone over certain age ranges who the police deem to be “fit and proper” is allowed to own a handgun.

Although the majority of individual guns don’t need to be registered, all gun owners must have a license. This is only true in a select few nations, including New Zealand.

Applicants for a firearm license must successfully pass a background investigation of their criminal and health histories in order to lawfully own a handgun. Factors like mental health, addiction, and domestic violence are also considered. Gun owners are allowed to purchase as many firearms as they wish after receiving a license.