MPs to take part in gun licensing debate sparked by Horden massacre

CAMPAIGN: Alison Turnbull with son Bobby
CAMPAIGN: Alison Turnbull with son Bobby

A PARLIAMENTARY debate is due to be held tomorrow into gun controls after the New Year’s Day shooting that saw three members of a family shot dead.

Easington MP Grahame Morris is behind the Westminster Hall debate which comes after Alison Turnbull, 44, Tanya Turnbull, 24, and Susan McGoldrick, 47, were shot dead by Susan’s partner, Michael Atherton, 42, before he turned the gun on himself, in Horden on New Year’s Day last year.

Hartlepool Golf Club worker Bobby Turnbull, 24, who lost his mother and sister in the massacre, has since campaigned to prevent any repeat of the tragedy.

The Government announced earlier in the summer that Home Office guidance was being introduced to gather evidence of domestic abuse, a move which Mr Turnbull says does not go far enough.

Mr Morris says he welcomes the Government’s proposals to revise the existing guidelines for police when issuing gun licences.

But he added: “Considering all the evidence we have available, I believe the only way to safeguard the public will be through legislation.

“It would mandate that chief police officers conduct a full range of background checks on applicants, involving GPs, police, and previous and current domestic partners, with a presumption to refuse an application where there is a pattern or evidence of behaviour indicating violent conduct, domestic violence, mental illness or substance abuse.”

The debate is being held at 2.30pm tomorrow.