Plymouth MP campaigns for tougher gun controls to 'stop shootings' following Keyham tragedy

luke pollard keyham vigil

Luke Pollard MP has proposed new gun laws in Parliament to ensure that lessons are learnt from the mass shooting in Plymouth in August so that it can never happen again.

Mr Pollard, the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, proposes to ban keeping pump-action shotguns in homes and also wants to link mental health records to gun licences so that weapons can be removed from gun-holders if they develop mental health problems.

It comes as the family members of the five victims of the Keyham shooting in August 2021 have spent the day in Westminster meeting ministers to call for the changes to the law.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously told ITV News West Country that he will consider changing laws if the inquiries into the shooting show that improvements are needed.

Five people were killed in the shooting in the summer. The gunman, who turned the gun on himself, had been struggling with his mental health and had a pump-action gun.

The Labour MP for the area said now is the time to be tougher on guns.

"It's now been over six months since the tragic shooting in Keyham in Plymouth. I've been working closely with the families about how we can ensure no community ever experiences what we did last year," Mr Pollard said.

“I want to see changes in gun laws informed by the evidence from the Inquest and police investigations.

"That may take some time so today I am presenting the first part of Keyham’s Law with the hope that further measures can be proposed after careful consideration from these investigations.

"I promised the community in Keyham that the law around guns must change and my bill is the first step in our campaign to keep people safe.

"My bill would ban the keeping of pump-action weapons in homes. I see no good reason why anyone would need a pump-action shotgun to be kept in their homes. I want to see stricter rules on gun ownership, to stop other communities going through the pain that we have."

These were the scenes following the Keyham shooting in August.

Mr Pollard introduced the proposed law in the House of Commons earlier as a "Ten Minute Rule Bill". It is only the first stage of these changes and there are many hurdles to go through.

Many similar bills never make it to the statute book, however, they do put pressure on the Government to change laws. That is why the families of the victims of the shooting are meeting ministers in Westminster today.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Following the tragic incident in Plymouth, the Home Secretary asked all police forces to urgently review their firearms licensing practices. The returns provided reassurance that the police have in place robust processes for issuing and reviewing firearms and shotgun licences.

“If there are further lessons to be learned from this tragic case, we will update the Statutory Guidance for firearms licensing. The UK has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world and while we are not complacent about these high standards, thankfully such incidents are rare.”