After the recent shooting in Plymouth UK, a former Metropolitan Police commissioner is calling for police forces to scour the online activity of citizens who apply for a gun license in the UK.
In response to the shooting on Thursday, Lord Stevens, former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, urged police forces to carry out thorough online checks on people applying for firearm licenses.
Apparently, police must search the social media accounts of people applying for firearms licenses in order to ensure that people holding extremist beliefs are not procuring lethal weapons. Men who express “hatred” for women online should be classified as potential terrorists because they hold “extreme, dangerous” views.
Under the discussion of Jake Davison, he told The Telegraph, “The gunman was clearly a dangerous man – there is no doubt he was a threat, the videos he made should have been taken into account when he applied for a shotgun license.”
“There needs to be trawling of online content for an in-depth assessment of who these people are and what they think. We need to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of dangerous people.”
Devon and Cornwall Deputy Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said that officers avoided checking on Davison’s internet activities before giving back his weapon, due to privacy reasons, according to The Sun newspaper.
“We take and return firearms on a not irregular basis when people have emotional crises or we receive reports from family members, then they can be returned,” Sawyer said. “What we don’t do, because firearms licensing is a lawful thing, is trawl the internet looking at people’s lives. That’s an invasion of privacy.”
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer asked yesterday, “How on earth did he get a gun license in the first place?” Labour called for a reform of firearm licensing laws following the attack.