16 January 2023

Starmer calls for tighter gun laws after church drive-by shooting

16 January 2023

Laws on gun ownership should be tightened, Sir Keir Starmer has said following a drive-by shooting at a church in his constituency.

The Labour leader said he had been given a police intelligence briefing on the “awful” incident, in which four women and two children were injured.

A seven-year-old girl is in a serious but stable condition after the shotgun attack on mourners at a memorial service at St Aloysius Church in Euston, central London, on Saturday.

Sir Keir, a former director of public prosecutions, said the Euston incident, and shootings such as the killing of five people in Keyham, Plymouth, in 2021, show the need for reforms to gun laws.

“We’ve had these incidents from time to time with guns,” he told LBC Radio.

“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, that may or may not help this particular case.”

He added: “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.”

Sir Keir added that he does not back an outright ban on gun ownership, saying that exemptions should be allowed for famers and sports shooting clubs.

A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder over the Euston incident.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox