Doctors will be required to carry out medical checks on all gun licence applicants in wake of Plymouth mass shooting, Priti Patel announces

  • Home Secretary said doctors will tell police of any ‘relevant medical conditions’ 
  • Doctors will also have to perform an assessment of applicants’ mental health  
  • It comes after Keyham gunman Jake Davison, 22, killed five people last week  

Doctors will now be required to carry out medical checks on all gun licence applicants in the wake of the Plymouth mass shooting, Priti Patel has announced. 

The Home Secretary has declared that new statutory guidance states doctors will have to confirm to police whether an applicant has any ‘relevant medical conditions’ and perform an assessment of their mental health.  

At the weekend, the Government announced firearms applicants would be subject to social media checks and all forces in England and Wales were being asked to review their current firearm application processes, as well as assess whether they needed to revisit any existing licences.

Questions are continuing to mount over how Keyham gunman Jake Davison, 22, obtained a firearms licence and carried out his spree – killing five people before turning the gun on himself.

The Home Secretary has declared that new statutory guidance states doctors will have to confirm to police whether an applicant has any ‘relevant medical conditions’ and perform an assessment of their mental health

The apprentice crane operator had received mental health support during the coronavirus lockdown from a local telephone helpline service.

His social media usage suggested an obsession with ‘incel’ (involuntary celibate) culture as well as an interest in guns and the US.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is already investigating the decision by the Devon and Cornwall force to return Davison’s shotgun certificate and weapon to him.

They had been seized in December last year following an assault allegation the previous September and were returned to him in July.

In a written statement to Parliament, Priti Patel said: ‘The new guidance draws on previous lessons learned and will ensure better consistency and improved standards across police firearms licensing departments.

‘It will mean that that no-one is given a firearms licence unless their doctor has confirmed to the police whether or not they have any relevant medical conditions, including an assessment of their mental health, and it will make explicit that firearms applicants may be subject to social media checks.

Questions are continuing to mount over how Keyham gunman Jake Davison, 22, obtained a firearms licence and carried out his spree – killing five people before turning the gun on himself

Self-described ‘f***ing fat ugly virgin’ and bodybuilder Jake Davison (pictured), 22, murdered his mother Maxine, 51, after bursting into her home in the Devon city with a pump-action shotgun on Thursday night 

‘The police will have a legal duty to consider the new statutory guidance when it is published.’

The Home Secretary said the guidance would be published in the coming weeks and would be kept under review.

‘We must do all that we possibly can to avoid something like this happening again,’ she said.

‘The UK has some of the strictest gun control legislation in the world and comparatively low levels of gun crime.

‘Yet while tragedies like last Thursday’s are rare, their impact is profound. We constantly assess what sensible and proportionate steps we can take to help prevent such terrible loss of life.’

Ms Patel said investigations continued into Davison’s motives for the attack.

‘Whether or not an incident is determined to be terrorism-related is a decision made independently of the Government by the police, based on the specific circumstances and what the police find during the investigation,’ she said.

‘The UK has one of the most robust counter-terrorism frameworks in the world.

‘The Terrorism Act 2000 definition is sufficiently broad to capture modern causes of terrorism, including ‘incel’ violence.

‘It is this definition that is applied when determining whether specific individuals are engaging in terrorism and if incidents should be classified as a terrorist attack.’

She added: ‘This appalling event has shaken the whole country, and in particular the people of Plymouth. Our hearts go out to them. This is something which no community and nobody should have to endure.

‘I would also like to thank those police officers and others who attended the scene for their incredible bravery.’

Plymouth force that gave gun back to incel killer faces firearms investigation into licencing procedures – the third inquiry after massacre of five locals 

A firearms review is to be carried out into the police force which gave Jake Davison his licence and gun back just weeks before he killed five people in one of the UK’s worst mass shootings.

The inquiry into Devon and Cornwall Police’s firearms licensing procedures will be overseen by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

It is the third investigation into the events of last week in which Jake Davison, 22, shot dead his own mother and four others in the Keyham area of Plymouth, before turning the gun on himself.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is already investigating the decision by the Devon and Cornwall force to return Davison’s shotgun certificate and weapon to him.

They had been seized in December last year following an assault allegation the previous September and were returned to him in July.

The Government has also announced firearms applicants will be subject to social media checks.

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.

A firearms review is to be carried out into the police force which gave Jake Davison (pictured) his licence and gun back just weeks before he killed five people in one of the UK’s worst mass shootings

The deaths of Maxine Davison, 51, Lee Martyn, 43, daughter Sophie, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, as well as Davison, are also the subject of an inquiry by Plymouth coroner Ian Arrow.

The peer review was announced by Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner Alison Hernandez.

‘I have spent considerable time with this community after this appalling incident and want to reassure them that we stand with them at this tremendously difficult time,’ she said.

‘Not only have they lost much-loved friends and family members but they have found themselves at the centre of a sometimes intrusive national and international media presence.

‘The impact of this will be felt by this community for a long time.

‘I want to let the people of Keyham know that after the initial attention has died down we will still be there for them.

‘We must not jump to conclusions about the reasons for these heinous crimes but await the Independent Office of Police Conduct’s investigation, a National Police Chiefs’ Council-led inquiry into the police’s procedures and the coroner’s report as we seek to fully understand what, if any, changes may need to be made into firearms licensing procedures.

‘I am assisting the chief constable to organise a fast review of the general procedures of firearms licensing in Devon and Cornwall to ensure they are following national guidance correctly.

‘We will also be working with police and crime commissioners from around the country to ensure that if there are lessons to be learned about licensing procedures in England and Wales these will be shared with colleagues from around the country.’

Earlier this week, it emerged Davison received mental health support during the coronavirus lockdown and had been in contact with a telephone helpline service in Plymouth run by the Livewell Southwest organisation.

Social media usage by Davison suggested an obsession with ‘incel’ culture, meaning ‘involuntary celibate’, as well as an interest in guns and the US.

Reports have suggested Davison’s mother had been struggling to get help for her son, having become concerned about his mental health.

 

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