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Son of Horden massacre victim meets senior politicians to discuss tougher firearms laws

Bobby Turnbull at Hartlepool train station

Bobby Turnbull at Hartlepool train station

The son of a shooting massacre victim has met with senior politicians to discuss stricter gun laws.

Bobby Turnbull had separate meetings with Minister for Crime Prevention Norman Baker and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper at the Houses of Parliament yesterday to continue his campaign for tougher firearms legislation.

He was also due to meet Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) spokesman Chief Constable Andy Marsh today and film a police training video about the impact the shooting of his mum Alison Turnbull, 44, sister Tanya Turnbull, 24, and aunt Susan McGoldrick, 47, on New Year’s Day 2012 in Horden had on him.

They were shot dead by Susan’s partner, Michael Atherton, 42, who legally owned six weapons, including three shotguns, despite him having a history of domestic abuse, before he turned the gun on himself.

For the video he will also be asked what he thinks the Government should do about gun laws.

Bobby, 24, from Blackhall, said with Mr Baker he discussed full cost recovery, where gun licence holders only have to pay £50 towards the £200 it costs the police to process an application, meaning the taxpayer picks up the rest of the cost.

Bobby said: “It’s something he definitely wants.”

Although the minister said he was looking at “getting the cost down”, Bobby was concerned that this could see corners cut in police checks and he wants licence holders to pick up the full bill for the “privilege” of owning a gun.

Bobby said Mr Baker promised to also look at having a marker placed on GP records to highlight that a patient owns a gun.

Bobby, who works at Hartlepool Golf Course added that in his meeting with Ms Cooper, the pair spoke about plans for a gun hotline.

It would be run by Crimestoppers and cost between £10,000 and £15,000 and people would be able to report any concerns about a gun owner.

But he said Mr Baker said the Home Office propose to run this as part of a domestic violence line and Bobby says a stand-alone hotline would be better, as people might not be aware that a domestic violence hotline deals with gun issues.

He added that Ms Cooper said she will push further for an amendment to the law, so that people with a history of domestic violence are never allowed to own a gun, after her attempt last year failed.

A spokesman for Ms Cooper’s office said: “We will indeed keep up the campaign and will be raising once again with the Home Secretary this month.

“Our focus and Bobby’s is very much in the banning of those with a history of domestic violence being able to get a gun.”

 

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