UK PM rules out "knee-jerk" changes to gun laws



UK PM rules out London: Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday ruled out any "knee-jerk" changes to gun laws even as he planned to visit Cumbria shooting scene in rural north west England where a taxi-driver gun downed 12 people and injured 25 others.

While sympathising with communities left "deeply torn" by Wednesday's "horrific events", Cameron warned against "knee-jerk changes to gun laws.

He is slated to visit Cumbria tomorrow where a taxi driver killed 12 people and injured 25 others before he turned the gun on himself in one of the worst mass killings in British history.

"We shouldn't make any knee-jerk reaction to think that there is some instant legislative or regulatory answer.

You can't legislate to stop a switch flicking in someone's head and for this dreadful sort of action to take place," he told newsmen.

Police investigations are continuing into what caused Derrick Bird, 52, to go on the rampage, amid reports of a possible family row over a will.

The taxi driver was pursued by armed police before turning a gun on himself.

Eight of the injured are now in a stable or comfortable condition in hospital. The remaining three have been discharged.

Answering questions, Cameron said: "These clearly are absolutely horrific events, a really terrible situation that has taken place in our country, over the last 24 hours."

The Prime Minister said he would do everything possible to help "mend the hurt" of communities and "to make sure that everything is done to make sure that events like this cannot happen again in our country".

More than 100 police officers are investigating the killings, following up more than 1,400 calls relating to more than 30 crime scenes across 40km of the county.

Cumbria Police recovered a shotgun and .22 rifle with telescopic sight and have since confirmed that Bird was licensed to own both weapons.

He is believed to have done so for 20 years.

Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: "we are not able to really understand the motivation behind it - or establish whether this was a premeditated or random attack.

Hyde said officers would speak to people "about him, his life, what has gone on in the last few days, what might have turned somebody into a killer."

Sources indicated that Bird may have been involved in a dispute over a will as solicitor Kevin Commons is among the dead. Other reports suggest he had fallen out with fellow taxi drivers in a row about fares.

PTI