Home secretary to make decision on change to crossbow laws 'in the near future'

The home secretary will make a decision soon on whether to change the laws around crossbow following the deaths of a mother and her two daughters.

Carol Hunt, 61, the wife of racing commentator John Hunt, and two of their daughters, Louise, 25, and Hannah, 28, were killed on Monday in an apparent crossbow attack.

Kyle Clifford, 26, who is believed to be known to the victims, was found injured by police and has been arrested following a manhunt.

Police said the killings involved the use of a crossbow and possibly other weapons.

Their deaths have led to calls for stricter laws on crossbows, possibly in line with stringent shotgun licence requirements.

Currently, the only legal requirement to owning or buying one is having to be 18 years old or over.

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The former Conservative government launched a "call for evidence" on their use in February following a series of attacks, including the 2018 death of Shane Gilmer, who was murdered with a crossbow.

His partner, Laura Sugden, who was also injured in the attack, has campaigned for tougher laws since the inquest into his death.

The government's call for evidence came to an end in April, but the election meant recommendations were not made before.

New Security Minister Dan Jarvis has told Sky News' Breakfast with Kay Burley that Home Secretary Yvette Cooper is currently considering the evidence and will take a view "in the near future".

Read more: What the law says on crossbows

"I know that the Home Secretary is seized by the importance of all of this, but she's got to consider these matters in the round," he said.

"She will take a view as to whether there is a requirement to meet legislative changes.

"And I know that she will do that incredibly thoroughly.

"She will take a view in the near future, I'm sure."

He added: "We will not stop at anything to ensure that the public is safe."

Mr Jarvis said he agreed that he did not know why anyone would need a crossbow if it was not for sport.

Crossbow as a sport involves people shooting at targets and takes place both indoors and outdoors, with national and international championships taking place.

The law states a crossbow must be transported in a condition in which it cannot be used, by dissembling it, putting it in a carry case, and not keeping bolts with the bow.