Government weighs in on debate as it rejects tighter gun controls following Plymouth mass shooting
Charity Agasaro – 17 July 2023
The rejection of calls for stricter shotgun controls following a mass shooting in Plymouth has drawn strong criticism from anti-gun campaigners and senior police officers. In 2021, 22-year-old Jake Davison shot and killed five people, injuring two others, before turning the gun on himself. Following the shooting, families of the Plymouth gunman's victims demanded radical changes to the licensing system, citing police failings.
While some police officers and campaigners supported the calls, the gun lobby opposed stricter regulations. They contend that such measures could force out individuals who will be unable to afford or participate in shooting activities legally. They argue that overly restrictive regulations might lead some individuals to possess firearms without proper licensing.
The government's decision against strengthening gun laws was based on concerns about the impact on country sports and farmers, citing what they consider already stringent gun laws. However, campaigners accused the government of prioritizing shooters' interests over public safety, and called for a shift. The Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport also criticized the current gun laws for being outdated. In response, the home office has announced funding for police training and launched a consultation on other potential measures. These include search and seizure powers for the police, shorter firearms certificate renewal periods, and stricter license application rules. The consultation also addresses GP involvement, mental health support for firearms holders, and a potential reporting hotline.