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A look at what makes gun research in the EU so difficult




KNUTSFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 17:  In this photo illustration, the European Union and the Union flag sit together on bunting on March 17, 2016 in Knutsford, United Kingdom. The United Kingdom will hold a referendum on June 23, 2016 to decide whether or not to remain a member of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries which allows members to trade together in a single market and free movement across its borders for citizens.  (Photo by illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
KNUTSFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 17: In this photo illustration, the European Union and the Union flag sit together on bunting on March 17, 2016 in Knutsford, United Kingdom. The United Kingdom will hold a referendum on June 23, 2016 to decide whether or not to remain a member of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries which allows members to trade together in a single market and free movement across its borders for citizens. (Photo by illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

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America has major issues with guns...

The country is the world leader in mass shootings.

It has one of the highest rates of gun homicides -  and suicides -  in the world.

And somewhere around 300 million firearms in private hands.

Over the next few days we'll look at how other countries deal with guns.

We start in Britain with Helen Poole.

She led a 15-month study into fire arms and gun control across the European Union. The findings were released just a few weeks ago.

Here's how the UK regulates gun ownership:

1. A required application to the police for the ownership

It all starts with a simple form to law enforcement officials to get the gun. Poole says that police must then deem that you are not a threat to the public and that you have a good reason for wanting to own a firearm. "That good reason is generally is for use in sports and recreational activity," Poole says to Take Two's A Martinez. 

2. Background checks

After that begins a series of background checks. The police will mainly look into your criminal history and your professional record. "If you have been sentenced [to prison] more than three years, you cannot possess a firearm," Poole says.

3. Interviews with you and friends and family

Finally, the law officials will sit down with you and those closest to you. "They require references from friends," Poole says. "They may also contact a [General Practitioner], particularly if there's concerns about someone's mental health. So there's quite a lot of hurdles to go through."

To hear the full conversation, click the blue player above