Suffolk police reviewing 21,000 firearm licences after Plymouth shooting

Male hunter in the woods Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Police are reviewing more than 20,000 gun licences in Suffolk after the mass shooting in Plymouth (file photo) - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police in Suffolk are set to review more than 20,000 firearm licenses in the wake of the mass shooting in Plymouth earlier this month. 

All police forces in England and Wales are being asked to review their current firearm application processes, as well as assess whether they need to revisit any existing licences.

The government's decision comes after five people - including a three-year-old girl - were shot dead in Keyham, Plymouth, on August 12.

The attacker, a 22-year-old man who killed himself after the incident, had previously had his shotgun licence revoked by police before it was returned.

Suffolk police has confirmed officers will be reviewing 21,295 firearm and shotgun certificates issued to gun owners in the county.

A police cordon in the Keyham area of Plymouth where six people, including the offender, died of gun

A police cordon in place in Keyham, where five people were killed by a 22-year-old man - Credit: PA


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Robert Eldrett, secretary of the Alde Black Powder Club in Great Glenham, welcomed the police's review and said responsible gun owners would not object to the checks.

He said: "If the proper protocols are followed, these instances are thankfully rare.

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"It's not a right to own a gun, it's a privilege. If you're not prepared to follow the rules, you shouldn't have one.

"We have some of the strongest firearms laws in Europe. You have to keep them locked away safely - even my wife doesn't know where the keys are. You have to be so careful."

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: "We are continuing to follow and comply with national procedures and guidelines for the issuing of firearms licences.

"People hold shotguns and firearms for various reasons both as part of their profession or for recreational purposes.

"All applicants for the grant and renewal of certificates are subjected to a thorough vetting process and the National Firearms Licensing Management System is linked to the Police National Computer enabling front line officer to have access to certificate details.

"We have a team of specialist Firearms Enquiry Officers who conduct home visits and interviews with all certificate applicants at the time of the initial grant and subject to risk assessment, at the point of renewal.

"We also visit certificate holders at any time where information is received that may bring in question their suitability to possess firearms."

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