A Plymouth MP is reacting to the tragic Keyham shootings in August 2021 by introducing a bill to ban pump-action guns.
Plymouth Sutton and Devonport MP Luke Pollard introduced the Firearms and Hate Crime Bill to Parliament on 2 March 2022.
If made law, it would prohibit the keeping of pump-action firearms in homes, with exemptions for professional pest controllers and farmers.
The bill is due to be debated again at a later date for a second reading. However, parliamentary time is unlikely to be available.
The bill has little support in parliament and is widely seen as a kneejerk reaction to the shooting.
Sources in the Home Office confirm that the likely government reaction to the Plymouth shooting will be widespread sackings at Devon & Cornwall Constabulary firearms licensing, based in Exeter. Evidence is emerging that it is failures at police force level which led to the killer, Jake Davison, having the shotgun he used to murder five people.
Devon & Cornwall police appears to be trying to pre-empt the sackings by seizing firearms and revoking certificates across its administrative area, which includes Dorset. Click here for more on that story.
The government was quick to pour cold water on Pollard’s bill. In response to an approach by ITV West Country, the Home Office says: “The police have in place robust processes for issuing and reviewing firearms and shotgun licences. If there are further lessons to be learned from the tragic case, we will update the statutory guidance for firearms licensing.”
Bill Harriman, BASC director of firearms, says: “BASC is fully supportive of the Home Office’s position. The Plymouth shooting was a horrific tragedy, but it is only right that no knee-jerk reactions are made before the coroner’s review and the Independent Office for Police Conduct report are published.
“BASC has met Luke Pollard following the Plymouth shooting incident; there is a firm commitment from both sides that the correct actions are taken to reduce the risk of another tragedy happening. There is also an acceptance that the risk is in the person holding the firearm, not the firearm itself. Any response to this incident must be evidence-led.”