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The police told a televised news conference that there was no suggestion yet that the shooting was terror-related.
“These things are still incredibly rare and there’s nothing to indicate at the moment that this is part of a broader agenda,” said Andrew Stamper from the police force of Victoria, the state of which Melbourne is the capital.
Australia has a low rate of gun crime, a fact most experts attribute to the tightening of laws on the possession of firearms following the massacre of 35 people on the island of Tasmania by a lone gunman in 1996.
Recently, neighboring New Zealand also strengthened its legislation on guns after an Australian white supremacist allegedly killed 50 people in attacks on two mosques in the city of Christchurch on March 15. Semi-automatic firearms and assault rifles are now banned in the country.