MP calls on government to change gun license rules

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper is calling for the government to change gun license rules in the wake of the Horden shootings.

At the inquest into the shootings today the coroner called for ‘root and branch’ reform of gun licensing - a call echoed by MP Yvette Cooper.

Michael Atherton held a firearm license, despite having a history of domestic violence and previously having had his guns taken off him by police, and went on to shoot three members of the same family before turning the gun on himself.

“The Coroner’s call for ‘root and branch’ reform of gun licensing should be acted upon by the Home Secretary.

“When I met with Bobby Turnbull earlier this year to discuss his campaign after the tragedy that hit his family, it was clear there needs to tighter restrictions on gun ownership - especially if someone has a history of domestic abuse.

"Atherton should never have been given a gun.

“What the Turnbull family have had to go through is harrowing and I pay tribute to them for taking this campaign forward."

– Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary

“Men with a history of domestic violence should not be allowed to own guns. The guidance on domestic violence in the gun licensing framework is far too weak and much stronger action is needed.

"And police forces need to make sure licensing is done properly and that any complaints or intelligence over domestic violence are taken seriously - they shouldn't just wait until someone has been convicted before they withdraw a gun licence.

"No one should die in circumstances like this. To protect women's safety, gun licence rules should be changed now."

– Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary

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Horden Shootings Inquest

An inquest into the Horden shootings in County Durham due to start.