Gun used to kill Shinzo Abe – pipes, tape, batteries, black powder

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TOKYO ($1=136.41 Japanese Yens) — On July 8, during a speech in a campaign for upcoming parliamentary elections, the former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe was shot. Immediately taken to hospital, Abe died of his wounds hours later. Tetsuya Yamagami is the 41-year-old Japanese man arrested for the assassination attempt against Abe, who says he is unhappy with Shinzo’s policies. Yamagami uses a homemade weapon.

Photo credit: Wion

The case will spark [experts predict] an even bigger debate over limits on the use of industrial ammunition in the coming weeks. Our experts have analyzed several circulated photos of the homemade weapon being used.

According to them, this hand-made weapon was made from freely available items: two tubes without grooves, barrel-type, wood as the base of the body, and tape to attach the frame. A battery with a basic electrical circuit for the trigger. Most likely, our experts say, homemade black powder was used. Other experts suggest that there was a combination of the improvised propellant (black powder) with freely available projectiles. It is possible, they [experts] say, that some of the parts, mostly the smaller ones, such as the trigger, sight, nuts, bolts, and fasteners [if any] were made by a 3D printer that is freely available for purchase.

Photo credit: Wion

It is important to note that this design, slightly more complex than the “poplar” or “thumber” seen in the hands of criminals in Latin America, fits exactly the Japanese restrictions, where even industrially produced ammunition would be extremely difficult to obtain.

Photo credit: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Imag

The bottom line for everyone that asked is that building a weapon doesn’t require too many items or too many specialized skills. If we add that in the rest of the world, modern ammunition is easily available, plus the spread of 3D printers, we see that banning weapons is more of an illusion than an effective act.

The assassination of Shinzo Abe is the first assassination of a sitting or former Japanese leader since the 1936 coup attempt in which several figures, including two former prime ministers, were killed.


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