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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

An Analysis of the Firearms Used in High-Profile Shootings, 1963 to 2001

Date: June 12, 1963

Location: Jackson, Mississippi

Alleged Shooter: Byron De La Beckwith

People Killed: One

People Injured: None

Firearm(s): Enfield 1917 30.06 rifle


Byron De La Beckwith, an outspoken racist and white supremacist, killed civil rights leader Medgar Evers at his home as he was getting out of his car. Though Beckwith was not convicted in the 1960s (two juries could not reach a verdict), the case was reopened in 1990 and he was convicted of the crime in 1994, 31 years after the shooting.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

The gun was obtained legally through a trade with a friend, Ennis Thorton McIntyre, III, in 1960. De La Beckwith was a gun collector and legally owned a variety of weapons.


  1. "Witness Describes Gun Tied to Evers Slaying," The Legal Intelligencer, 31 January 1994, p. 38.
  2. "Byron De La Beckwith Will Face Another Jury in 1963 Evers Slaying," Orlando Sentinel Tribune, 19 December 1990, sec. A, p. 8.
  3. Eric Harrison, "Beckwith is Convicted of Killing Medgar Evers," Los Angeles Times, 6 February 1994, sec. A, p. 1.
  4. "Evers Murder Case: Possible to Reopen, but Unlikely," United Press International, 17 August 1987.

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 All contents � 2001 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.