Plymouth shootings: Frustration grows at delayed response

Kicking it into the long grass, where is the selfie commissioner? – Owl

Campaigners for changes to gun laws in response to the 2021 Plymouth shootings are frustrated at delays in responses to recommendations from the coroner.

BBC News

The government had been due to respond to an extended deadline on Tuesday.

But the Home Office said it was still considering the findings and wanted a “short extension”.

Jake Davison, 22, used a legally-held shotgun to kill his mother Maxine Davison, 51, and four others before shooting himself.

Three-year-old Sophie Martyn, her father, Lee, 43, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, were all killed.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, chair of the Gun Control Network, told the BBC: “I think the delay is indicative of a reluctance to grasp the issues.

“What we worry about is that the whole thing is going to be put out to some sort of consultation and will be kicked into the long grass until everybody’s forgotten about it.”

Analysis: Ben Woolvin, BBC Spotlight Home Affairs Correspondent

The Home Office has at this stage been unable to give us any information about the reason for the delay.

In a very short statement a spokesperson says the government is “still giving careful consideration to the recommendations made by the coroner”.

Luke Pollard, Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said he had not been told the reason for the delay.

He said it was possible there was an administrative issue which would delay things only by a few days, but he also said he was concerned this could be an indication that the government was no longer as committed to gun law reform as it previously said it was.

After the inquest in February, senior coroner for Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, Ian Arrow, wrote a series of prevention of future deaths reports, saying current gun laws were “at odds with public safety”.

He wrote to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Policing Minister Chris Philp, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Sir Ian Burnett, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), every chief constable in England and Wales and the College of Policing, identifying areas of concern.

The recipients were legally required to respond within 56 days.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are still giving careful consideration to the recommendations made by the coroner in the Keyham inquest, and are currently seeking a short extension from him.”

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