Five years on from Horden killings Minister confirms no plans for gun hotline

by Gun Control Network on 19-12-2016

 At a recent meeting with Brandon Lewis, Minister for Policing, the Gun Control Network was told there is now no money for the gun hotline that could have saved the lives of Bobby Turnbull’s mother, sister and aunt on New Years Day 2012.

These three women were killed by Michael Atherton, using one of his licensed guns. He was known by police to have been frequently drunk and violent towards his partner and her family, yet they continued to allow him to keep his guns. If there had been a dedicated gun phone line at the time, perhaps the killer’s guns would have been removed and Bobby’s family would still be alive.

In 2014 the Police and Crimestoppers agreed that a gun hotline should be established to provide a means for the public to register any concerns about the behaviour of a gun owner, whether legal or illegal. It was launched in November 2015 but withdrawn in January 2016, apparently at the behest of senior cabinet members who felt that the phone line would ‘criminalise’ law-abiding gun owners. Since then there has been no progress with the re-instatement of the hotline, and GCN now understands that the Government has no intention of funding it.

Bobby Turnbull says:

“We are very disappointed that Brandon Lewis came across as giving no support for the gun hotline. Maybe that’s because he’s a shooter himself. It’s a blow to myself and my family. But this kind of news makes us even more determined to see this hotline put in place as we believe it might have saved the lives of my mother, my sister and my aunt. We will carry on campaigning and do whatever it takes”.