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Full report: Family of Horden victims criticise government

The family of three women who were shot dead in County Durham on New Year's Day 2012 have criticised the government for not changing gun laws.

New home office guidance has been issued this week but the law will remain the same.

Earlier this year a coroner at the inquest into the Horden shootings called for "root and branch" changes to how guns are licensed. Frances Read reports.

Home office response to gun guideline changes

Minister for Policing Damian Green said:

“This new Home Office guidance clearly sets out a process which police forces should follow when considering an application from someone with a history of domestic violence.

“It should also ensure the views and experiences of victims of domestic abuse are carefully and sensitively taken into account.

“I am confident that this guidance will continue to protect the public from people who are not suitable to hold firearms.”

Family criticise government over gun laws

Victims of Horden shootings: Susan McGoldrick, Alison Turnbull, Tanya Turnbull Credit: Durham Police

The family of three women who were shot dead in County Durham on New Year's Day 2012 have criticised the government for not changing the gun laws.

New guidance has been issued this week but the law will remain the same.

The home office has said the new guidance is robust and will be continually reviewed.

Back in March a coroner at the inquest into the Horden shootings called for "root and branch" changes to how guns are licensed

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North East MP leads debate on tighter gun laws

The Labour MP for Easington, Graeme Morris, will be leading a debate in Parliament later today on whether the Government should have tougher regulation surrounding the issuing and handling of firearms.

He has been campaigning for tighter gun laws in conjunction with the Horden shootings, where three members of the Turbull family were shot dead by gunman Michael Atherton.

Atherton held a gun license, despite several police call-outs to his house for domestic violence and a suicide threat.

Bobby Turnbull has been leading the calls for changes to the gun laws in the months following the shootings.

Firearms guidance

The guidance, which was published in response to the Horden shootings campaign for tighter gun laws, states:

  • When police receive information about an applicant having a history of domestic violence, they should consider interviewing their family, friends and associates
  • Speaking to the applicant’s partner, who might be a victim of abuse, may be judged to be “essential”
  • The information the partner gives must be treated confidentially and police would need to take steps to make sure they are safe
  • The partner would not have to approve an application for a firearms certificate

Minister for Policing: "Domestic violence is unacceptable in any society"

The Minister Policing called domestic violence 'unacceptable in any society' and added that people should be in no doubt that chance of then holding a firearms certificate is diminished. It comes as the Home Office publishes new guidelines for firearms in response to the Horden shootings campaign.

“Domestic violence is unacceptable in any society and perpetrators should be in no doubt that their chances of ever holding a firearms certificate are greatly diminished.

“This new Home Office guidance clearly sets out a process which police forces should follow when considering an application from someone with a history of domestic violence.

“It should also ensure the views and experiences of victims of domestic abuse are carefully and sensitively taken into account.

“I am confident that this guidance will continue to protect the public from people who are not suitable to hold firearms.”

– Minister for Policing Damian Green

Home Office responds to Horden shootings campaign

Bobby Turnbull, who lost three family members in a shooting in Horde, County Durham, has had a response to his campaign for tighter gun control.

Bobby's mother, sister and aunt were shot dead last year, and he has been to London to lobby politicians.

The Home Office has released guidance that says people with a history of domestic violence should notbe allowed to possess a firearm or shotgun. The publication also says every incident shouldprompt a police review.

The new guidance will form part of the Firearms Guide. Police will use it when they are deciding whether to grant a certificate.

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