Top Met Police anti-terror cop blames licensed shooters for Jo Cox MP murder

17 Dec 2016 – The head of the Metropolitan Police’s anti-terrorist division has sought to blame the licensed firearms community for the murder of Jo Cox MP by a political extremist.

Responding to a fiercely worded letter sent to him by NRA chief executive Andrew Mercer, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley suggested that the licensed firearms community was to blame because they are targeted for burglaries by criminals.

Rejecting Mercer’s description of a previous interview with the Daily Telegraph as “unhelpful”, where Rowley had claimed 800 licensed firearms were lost or stolen in 2015 without breaking down the figure, the assistant commissioner wrote: “We do see licensed firearms recovered in criminal circumstances and we do, on occasions, see licensed firearms holders acting outside their licence conditions.”

“A recent and high profile example is the firearm discharged in the murder of Jo Cox. This was originally a licensed firearm that was stolen from a vehicle. It then ended up in the hands of Thomas Mair.”

During Mair’s trial, after which he was found guilty, the prosecution did not reveal how the illegally shortened Weihrauch .22″ rifle used by the murderer had ended up in his possession. UK Shooting News’ author could speculate that a reporting restriction order was imposed to prevent this from becoming public knowledge but does not know either way. There is little or no public information as to how a full length .22″ sporting rifle found its way into the hands of a neo-Nazi murderer and police have not disclosed why they were clearly unable to stop this from happening or catch the original thief.

Rowley did respond to some of the NRA’s questions about the 800 figure but refused to answer the question about how many were lost versus how many had been stolen. 635 were complete firearms; that is, not shotguns and not licensable component parts. The figure does not include police or military firearms.

Of the 800, only 15 were recovered by police investigators: a clear-up rate of 1.87%.

The full letters can be seen on the NRA Facebook page.

Credit is due to NRA chief executive Andrew Mercer and his team for publicly challenging the Met’s continuing demonisation of the licensed firearms community. Rumours have reached UKSN’s ears recently that the Met firearms licensing team have gone very off-piste, in terms of obeying licensing law, after severely bungling their response to what they thought was a media sting.

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10 thoughts on “Top Met Police anti-terror cop blames licensed shooters for Jo Cox MP murder

  1. Mr.Smith

    In one of the reports of the Jo Cox murder the paper stated the rifle was stolen from a car, it did mention the town but I have forgotten that but it was about 20 miles from the murder.
    Cox was also stabbed, stabbed first then shot, the shooting was not necessary as the stabbing would have been enough to kill her, I wonder who the Met’s mark Rowley blames for the knife?
    The Met still the UK’s most corrupt police force, is very anti of private firearms ownership.
    One must of course remember the armed policeman / woman who left their belt holster and Glock on the toilet cistern of a supermarket, or the policeman who left the guns MP5 & pistols on top of the car and drove off for them to fly off on the first bend, lucky a member of the public handed the loaded guns into a police station.

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  2. Chris Kinealy

    Once again the law-abiding, licenced gun shooter and user is blamed for the actions of criminals. Some years ago the Chief Constable of Liverpool stated that NINETY SIX PERCENT of guns recoverered that had been used in crime on Merseyside had never been licenced ever. By definition criminals do not obey laws. Why not ban drugs? Or prostitution? Or gambling? That would work wouldn’t it.

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  3. card2

    Funny how he leaves plod out of his supply chain argument ? General de Chasterlain in 2003 sought advice with a view to examining Kent Plod history of firearms cert issues. Perhaps it is police being negligent about who they allow firearms ?

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  4. Dom

    Robert, the article states licensed firearms (& not shotguns or components) so would exclude non-licensable airguns. What I do suspect this figure will include is firearms that have been “lost” through administrative errors by RFDs (not to mention the Police.) I am aware of at least one who had a database with a number of “phantom” guns which had been legally transferred (sometimes out of the country) or which were in stock but had errors in recording of serial numbers for a variety of reasons ranging from legibility of serial numbers, hierarchy of differently numbered components, process issues or plain human error. The point being that none of these “lost” guns could possibly find their way into the hands of criminals. The number involved would account for a large chunk of that 800 and if memory serves the timeframe matches. The police were working with them to track them down and a significant number were “found” extremely quickly. Although this failure is potentially worrying, and such errors should be avoided, the guns aren’t going anywhere they shouldn’t and to paint this as licensed firearms community providing an influx of guns to the black market is disingenuous at best (and potentially negligent in distracting from the real issue of criminal use of guns in the UK.

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  5. Old Codger

    “Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley suggested that the licensed firearms community was to blame because they are targeted for burglaries by criminals.”

    OK, now I get it. They only want to take away our guns to dry up the criminals’ supply. Hmmmmmmmm

    Nope. Not buying it. It’s still a bullshit argument. Taking guns away from law abiding people makes NO one safer.

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