Doctors told of gun owners' mental health year after Plymouth shooting

GEOPENBAAR: NHS doctors will be alerted about mental health of gun owners one year on from Plymouth tragedy which saw man shoot five people dead in shotgun rampage

  • Digital alert system will be rolled out to GP surgeries across England next week
  • Meer as 550,000 people across England and Wales have firearms licence
  • Last year Jake Davison, 22, killed five including girl, 3, with legal pump shotgun
  • Policing Minister Kit Malthouse will ‘bring in even stronger processesif needed
  • Gun owners will have alerts added to their medical records to warn doctors in case they become unfit to hold firearms, Die Mail on Sunday kan onthul.

    The digital alert system will be rolled out to GP surgeries across England next week as the Government seeks to tighten controls on guns in the hands of dangerous owners. Meer as 550,000 people across England and Wales have a licence to own a firearm.

    The move follows high-profile shooting incidents which saw licensed gun owners use their weapons to commit murder.

    Last year in Plymouth trainee crane operator Jake Davison, 22, shot and killed five people on a murderous rampage – including a three-year-old girl – with a pump-action shotgun he legally owned.

    He suffered from mental health problems and relatives had warned authorities over his behaviour.

    Plymouth-skieter was die seun van 'n 'gewelddadige boef', 22, (op die foto) shot and killed five people on a murderous rampage – including a three-year-old girl – with a pump-action shotgun he legally owned

    Plymouth-skieter was die seun van 'n 'gewelddadige boef', 22, (op die foto) shot and killed five people on a murderous rampage – including a three-year-old girl – with a pump-action shotgun he legally owned

    En in 2020, Robert Needham, 42, shot and killed his two daughters, aged four and two, and his partner with a shotgun, which he was also permitted to own, at his home in Woodmancote, Wes-Sussex.

    The builder was understood to have been facing serious financial difficulties and was forced to wind up his company in 2019.

    Nou, the new digital marker system for medical records will mean doctors are alerted when there is a relevant change in the medical state of a gun owner, or a new applicant for a licence.

    This could include a change in their mental health, diagnosis of a neurological condition or evidence of substance abuse.

    GPs can then alert the local police force to ensure gun owners who are no longer fit to hold a firearm have their weapons seized.

    Voorheen, monitoring of firearms ownersmedical background has been carried out by doctors manually. Maar nou 98 per cent of GP practices in England will be able to access the new system from next week.

    It will apply to those renewing their licence or new applicants, but doctors warn it will take five years to bring all owners on to the new system.

    Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said: ‘We have some of the strictest gun control laws in the world and we will not hesitate to bring in even stronger processes where we see the need for them. The imminent inquest into the tragic shootings in Sussex and impending first anniversary of the horrific shootings in Plymouth are a stark reminder of how much we owe it to the public to take these matters seriously.

    ‘We are focused on making our streets safer and it is absolutely right that the police be told about changes in the medical circumstances of anyone licensed to own a gun. This move is yet another example of us giving the police the tools they require to protect the public.

    'We have some of the strictest gun control laws in the world and we will not hesitate to bring in even stronger processes where we see the need for them,' said policing minister Kit Malthouse (op die foto)

    ‘We have some of the strictest gun control laws in the world and we will not hesitate to bring in even stronger processes where we see the need for them,’ said policing minister Kit Malthouse (op die foto)

    Dr Peter Holden, BMA lead for firearms licensing policy and a GP in Matlock, Derbyshire, gesê: ‘For decades now, the BMA has been pushing for an active flagging system within patientsrecords that is robust, clear and standardised across the country, and the new digital marker is a positive step in the right direction of improving the contribution GPs make to the licensing process.

    ‘Egter, the public should be under no illusion that this will be an overnight solution. This new scheme will apply only to new applicants or people renewing their licences, so it will take up to five years before all licensed gun owners are included within this framework.

    ‘The introduction of the marker, wel, must not imply that the buck for public safety stops with the GP; as the police have acknowledged, they themselves are ultimately responsible for firearms licensing.

    Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, gesê: ‘We welcome this important update today as an organisation that has been pushing for confidential markers on medical records.

    ‘We see this as an important part of continuous assessment of a licence holder’s health, and in particular their mental health.

    ‘Unlike in some other countries, we do not regard gun ownership as a right, but as a responsibility and it is in the interests of everyone, whether or not they own a gun, that the systems in place work efficiently.

    Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: ‘These new measures make it easier for GPs to identify any concerning medical issues with gun holders or applicants, before passing this vital information on to relevant police forces.