A man who lost three members of his family in a New Year's Day shooting has spoken of his anger at a Government U-turn on a gun hotline as he prepares to mark the fifth anniversary of the tragedy.
Bobby Turnbull's mother Alison Turnbull, 44, his aunt Susan McGoldrick, 47 and sister Tanya, 24, were shot dead by licensed gun owner Michael Atherton in Horden, near Peterlee, in 2012.
The 42-year-old taxi driver, who legally owned six weapons including three shotguns despite having a history of domestic violence, then turned the gun on himself.
Mr Turnbull has been campaigning for a a gun hotline for people to report concerns.
But at a recent meeting with Policing Minister Brandon Lewis, the Gun Control Network (GCN) was told there is now no money for the initiative.
Mr Turnbull said:
Gun Control Network chairman Gill Marshall-Andrews said:
She added that in 2014 the police and Crimestoppers agreed that a gun hotline should be established to provide a means for members of the public to register their concerns about the behaviour of a gun owner, whether legal or illegal.
Mr Turnbull added:
A Home Office Spokesperson said: "The firearms safety line has always been a police-led initiative.
The public should be in no doubt that they can report non-urgent concerns about firearms via the 101 service or the Crimestoppers helpline and, if it is necessary, by dialling 999."