Family of Horden shooting victims thank public

Michael Atherton shot three of his relatives dead before turning the gun on himself Credit: Durham Police

The family of three women killed on New Year's Day 2012 have thanked the public for their support after having almost 15,000 people sign their petition to change the gun laws.

On 1st January 2012 a taxi driver, Michael Atherton, shot dead his partner Susan McGoldrick. He then killed her sister Alison Turnbull and niece Tanya Turnbull.

Alison's son, Bobby, says the family have been overwhelmed by the support they've received over Christmas and the New Year.

But he also said they only have a fraction of the signatures needed so that the issue can be debated in Parliament. He estimates they need around another 90,000 people to sign the e-petition before the government will consider changes to the law.

The petition asks for people with criminal convictions, or a history of domestic violence, alcohol or other substance abuse, to be barred from owning firearms.

"I'd like to thank everyone who's supported us and backed the campaign. I think when my family realised how many people have backed us we've had the first grin on our faces for a long time. But there's still a lot of people who haven't signed it so please take two minutes to log onto a computer and sign the petition. Tell your brothers, your sisters, work colleagues, anyone who could sign the petition."

Click here to sign the petition.