Christchurch shooting: Harsh penalties include fines or prison time for illegal gun owners

Six months since terror struck Christchurch, the Government's getting even tougher on gun control.

Every single gun in the country will now have to be registered, and there'll be more serious penalties for breaching the new law.

The new gun register will hold personal details of the gun owner, alongside serial numbers for each piece of equipment.

Licence holders will be given five years to supply their details, and anyone who fails to do that can be fined up to $20,000, and even face two years in prison.

The new laws will include more warning flags that might have prevented the alleged terrorist from carrying out his massacre.

"What we know is that the alleged terrorist was stockpiling ammunition and guns; that would have raised a flag," Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

The new laws will make it more difficult to get a gun licence, and licences will only last five years rather than 10.

"There's a responsibility that comes with gun ownership," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

When people apply for licences, they must now hand over the details of their medical practitioner. If a patient has mental health issues, their doctors will be required to tell police.

"We must take steps to tighten our gun laws, to ensure the safety of all New Zealanders," Nash said.

Christchurch firearms licence holders say it's about time.

"I support it wholeheartedly," gun owner Brent Morgan told Newshub. "I think that the regulations have gotten far too lapsed over the years."