Starmer calls for shotgun ownership rethink following Euston shooting | UK news

Keir Starmer has said he could support stronger laws against the ownership of shotguns, speaking in the wake of a drive-by shooting outside a church in north London at the weekend.

While there is no indication any gun used in Saturday’s incident, in which four women and two children were injured by shotgun pellets, was legally owned, Starmer said there was a wider issue of legally held guns being misused.

A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the shooting outside St Aloysius church near Euston station, which is in the Labour leader’s constituency.

Asked on Monday about the incident during a Q&A on LBC radio, Starmer said: “There are many illegally owned guns out there and there are legally owned guns, which I don’t think should be in the hands of the people who are legally owning them.

“We’ve had these incidents from time to time with guns, and every time there is, there’s evidence, which I am concerned about, that people have access to guns that they shouldn’t have access to.

“Now, if it’s illegal access, obviously, that’s a pure matter of the criminal law. But other people, where better checks should be taken over circulation of guns. So I think that we need to look again as to whether those laws are strong enough.”

One of Starmer’s frontbenchers, the shadow defence minister, Luke Pollard, has tabled a private member’s bill seeking to stop people keeping pump-action shotguns in their homes in the wake of a mass shooting in his constituency last year involving such a legally held weapon.

Jake Davison, 22, killed his mother, Maxine, 51, before shooting dead four other people, including a three-year-old child, in an attack in the Keyham area of Plymouth in August, before shooting himself dead.

His shotgun and licence were returned to him weeks earlier by police, who had seized the weapon in 2020 after Davison assaulted two teenagers in a park.

After such shootings, Starmer said, there had been reviews into people’s access to guns: “And in each case, there were examples where, in my view, the individual should not be allowed to carry a gun.”

Asked if he wanted gun ownership laws “made even tougher”, Starmer said that he did, while stressing that people including farmers and sports shooting clubs did need to be able to possess them.

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