Some of the strictest gun laws in the world did not stop a mentally ill man from killing a member of the British parliament in broad daylight Thursday.
Labor Party MP Jo Cox died less than an hour after Tommy Mair allegedly shot and stabbed her during a campaign event. It is unclear what gun Mair used to carry out the attack. Witnesses say it looked “homemade” and receipts from a bookstore in West Virginia back up the claim. (RELATED: British Member Of Parliament Dies After Being Shot, Stabbed)
The United Kingdom has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe. The vast majority of legal gun ownership is restricted to members of shooting ranges. It is considered an offense to even touch a firearm you don’t own in some police districts.
The restrictions have created a large black market in London, where the cheapest guns went for $286 in 2012.
Mair’s neighbors describe him as a loner who didn’t make much noise of himself. He was prescribed medication for mental health issues, which would likely make him ineligible for a gun license.
Mair instead appears to have taken matters into his own hands and built a gun from scratch. Mair purchased $620 worth of books on how to build your own gun, according to receipts dating back to the late 1990s. The books were published by the National Alliance, a U.S.-based neo-Nazi group Mair appears to have been a fan of.
If true, the homemade gun had the capacity to fire at least three rounds and kill a person from close range.
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