SHADOW home secretary Yvette Cooper has vowed to support Bobby Turnbull’s fight against the country’s flawed gun licensing laws.
Bobby, who lost his mum, Alison, 44, sister Tanya, 24, and aunt Susan McGoldrick, 47, in the Horden New Year’s Day shootings, travelled to London yesterday to discuss Britain’s gun licensing laws.
Following the shootings Bobby launched a petition calling for better co-operation between police and health professionals and asks for individuals with a criminal past, history of mental instability or domestic violence to be identified.
Now Ms Cooper has said she will look at ways to change current laws and address the issues Bobby has raised throughout his campaign.
She also vowed to drum up more support for the campaign by encouraging MPs to get behind it.
Speaking from the Houses of Parliament, Bobby, a greenkeeper, of Blackhall, County Durham, told the Journal he appreciated Ms Cooper’s support in his fight for a change in the law.
He said: “I am absolutely over the moon with what Yvette said throughout the meeting and I appreciate her support. It means that all my hard work over the past 12 or so months hasn’t gone unnoticed and it has been worthwhile.
“All we want is a change in the law, and if that saves one life then we’ve succeeded in what we set out to do. I hope that we can work with Yvette in the future and bring some changes to the flawed licensing laws.”
Gunman Michael Atherton launched his New Year’s Day killing spree after Susan – his partner for 18 years – went out in Peterlee.
Susan’s daughter Laura, 19, suffered minor injuries and escaped through a window. Other people in the house at the time survived, including Atherton’s son Michael, 17.
And the Shadow Home Secretary, said: “It is clear that restricting the availability of guns to those with a history of domestic abuse and violence is needed. Atherton should never have been given a gun.
“What the Turnbull family have had to go through is harrowing and I pay tribute to them for taking this campaign forward and I will be working with them to make sure we can achieve something positive from this tragedy.
“Clearly we need to ensure police forces are implementing best practice when it comes to gun control, but we also need to examine what changes are needed to the law to tighten it. Bobby Turnbull and his family deserve our support and we must do everything we can to prevent this happening to other families.”
Bobby’s petition calling for tighter gun laws has attracted more than 15,000 signatures since it was started last year.
He added: “I really appreciate that people have taken time out to sign the petition but we need to get the total to 100,000. Anyone who hasn’t signed the petition I would really ask for them to sign it.”
To sign the petition go online at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41060