Gun laws will be examined at inquest into deaths of girls, aged four and two

Gun laws will be examined at inquest into deaths of girls, aged four and two
Gun laws will be examined at inquest into deaths of girls, aged four and two

Gun laws in the UK could be overhauled after a father blasted his partner and their two young children to death with a shotgun during lockdown last year.

Robert Needham, 42, shot daughter Ava, four, in the chest and his two-year-old daughter Lexi in the head.

He also shot his partner Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, in the head and neck at their £600,000 home in West Sussex.

Robert Needham (left) killed his partner Kelly Fitzgibbons and their two children, Ava, four and Lexi, two (also pictured)

Robert Needham (left) killed his partner Kelly Fitzgibbons and their two children, Ava, four and Lexi, two (also pictured) 

Needham is pictured with Ms Fitzgibbons. Their bodies were found at their the family home in Woodmancote, West Sussex

Needham is pictured with Ms Fitzgibbons. Their bodies were found at their the family home in Woodmancote, West Sussex

Mr Needham is then believed to have shot himself in the head.

All four were found dead at the detached property in the quiet village of Woodmancote in the evening of Sunday March 29, 2020 - just a week after lockdown was imposed.

How do you get a gun licence in the UK? 

To get a firearm legally in the UK, you have to have a firearm licence.

You also need one to buy ammunition.

They are issued by local police forces who need to be satisfied you don't pose any danger to the public and do not have any violent previous convictions.

They will ask for a passport photo and a referee.

You will need two referees for a firearm licence and one for a shotgun licence.

These referees need to have known you for at least two years and cannot be a relative, arms dealer, or a member of the police.

The cost of a UK gun licence is around £80. 

Source: GOV.UK 

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Today, a coroner said procedures around issuing firearms certificates in the UK would be examined as part of an inquest into the tragic deaths.

Penelope Schofield, coroner for West Sussex, said she would call the Home Office to give evidence at the inquest.

And she also laid out plans to call the chief constables of Hampshire and Sussex whose forces dealt with his previous firearms licence applications. 

Mr Needham, a builder, was last handed a firearms certificate in 2017.

If any faults are identified with current firearms procedures the coroner could write to the Home Office recommending changes in order to prevent future deaths.

The inquest will also

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