Horden massacre survivor slams minister’s decision to reject gun law changes

Bobby Turnbull
Bobby Turnbull

THE campaigning son of a shotgun massacre victim says he feels “fobbed off” after a Government minister rejected calls for an outright ban on people with a history of domestic violence owning a gun.

Labour MPs called on the Government to back its amendment to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill which would change the law so those who have a history of domestic 
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violence cannot own a gun.

But Policing Minister Damien Green said the Government was strengthening gun control guidance within a matter of weeks.

However, Bobby Turnbull, whose mum Alison, 44, sister Tanya, 24, and aunt Susan McGoldrick, 47, were shot dead by taxi driver Michael Atherton, 42, in Horden on New Years Day last year, and opposition MPs said guidance is not enough.

During Home Office Questions in the House of Commons, Easington MP Grahame Morris asked Mr Green to back the Bill so licensing officers were clear that those with a domestic violence history should not be able to own a gun.

But Mr Green said: “I’ve spoken to Bobby Turnbull on several occasions about this and I am happy to assure you that the strengthened guidance with the particular application to domestic violence will be introduced within a matter of weeks so that very direct lesson is being learned very quickly.”

Bobby, 24, from Blackhall, told the Mail: “To me this is just an easy way out.

“Mr Green told me amending the law was too long a process and hard work.

“But I asked ‘do you not think it’s worth it to save a life?’

“They are more bothered about losing votes than saving people’s lives.”

The Bill is at committee stage in the Commons.