On Thursday, British Member of Parliament Jo Cox was stabbed and shot to death outside of a library in the UK by a man toting a World War I-like gun. He reportedly shouted “Britain first!” during the attack. And in a court appearance on Saturday, the suspect had a similar message when asked for his name.
According to CNN, suspect Tommy Mair said, “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.” This statement is likely a reference to the UK’s upcoming Brexit vote, where citizens will decide whether the country will stay in the European Union. Cox supported staying in the EU, and told voters that concerns over immigration weren’t good enough reasons to leave. Mair has been charged with “murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offense and possession of an offensive weapon,” for the fatal attack.
One of the questions surrounding Cox’s death includes how her suspected killer was able to get a gun in Britain. Mashable points out that the UK has very strict gun laws, with the procedure to get one like so:
People who want to own a gun in the UK need to undergo a series of background checks that include interviews, visits to the person’s property, criminal records checks, references from friends and even their doctor.
Criminals in the country can therefore obtain guns by ordering them on the restricted “darknet,” and 3D printing and converting “antique weapons,” which are unregulated by British law, are also options. As shown in the Tweet above, the Southern Poverty Law Center recently produced a report that alleges that Mair bought a gun-making manual from the stateside National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group. More information will probably come out in the next several days to clarify how a tragedy like this could have happened.