New gun licence guidelines should be law – says Horden massacre victim’s son

RECEIVED LETTER: Bobby Turnbull
RECEIVED LETTER: Bobby Turnbull
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THE son of a shooting massacre victim says there is still a long way to go after the Government revealed draft changes in gun laws.

Bobby Turnbull has received a letter from the Home Office’s firearms public risk unit.

It outlines draft proposals for revising the Firearms Guide and the Home Office’s intension “to introduce stronger and clearer guidance on how the police should consider applications where there may be a history of domestic violence”.

This is in line with Bobby’s campaign for tighter gun laws, since his mum Alison Turnbull, 44, sister Tanya Turnbull, 24, and aunt Susan McGoldrick, 47, were gunned down by taxi driver Michael Atherton at Susan and Atherton’s house in Greenside Avenue, Horden, on New Year’s Day last year.

But Bobby, 24, from East Street, Blackhall, said: “It’s a start, but it’s only guidelines and police only use guidelines as and when they think they should. It’s not law yet.”

He said the draft proposals also mention changes to the decision-making process around police issuing gun licences, which he welcomed after an inquest into his relatives’ deaths heard there were no proper policies in place, though the force have since implemented changes.

Bobby, who works at Hartlepool Golf Course, also added that the draft outlines plans for licensing officers to speak to more sources when considering issuing gun licences, including wider family members and not just partners.

On Monday, June 17, Bobby will make another stride in his campaign’s progress when he meets Justice Minister Damian Green to discuss the findings of the inquest.

He will ask Mr Green whether he plans to put training in place nationwide for firearms departments, after the inquest heard officers involved in issuing of Atherton’s gun licence had no training.