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Britain is considering introducing stricter laws on crossbow shooting after the murder of a woman and her two daughters near London

Britain is considering introducing stricter laws on crossbow shooting after the murder of a woman and her two daughters near London
Britain is considering introducing stricter laws on crossbow shooting after the murder of a woman and her two daughters near London

London — The British government is considering introducing stricter laws on the ownership of crossbows after Three women were killed with one of the weapons on Wednesday in England. Carol Hunt, 61, and her daughters Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, the family of BBC sports reporter John Hunt, were fatally attacked in their home northwest of London on Tuesday.

After an hours-long manhunt, police found the suspect, 26-year-old Kyle Clifford, in a north London cemetery. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries and remained in custody at the facility on Thursday.

He was not officially arrested or charged with a crime, but police said he was the only suspect and the attack appeared to be targeted.

British media reports, unconfirmed by authorities, said Clifford was the ex-boyfriend of one of the victims.

The following day, July 11, 2024, images of bouquets of flowers are seen in Bushey, Hertfordshire, north of London, where Carol Hunt (61), the wife of BBC Five Live racing commentator John Hunt, and two of their daughters, Hannah (28) and Louise (25), were killed in a crossbow attack on their home.

Jonathan Brady/PA Images/Getty


British Security Minister Dan Jarvis told CBS News partner BBC News that Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, who is responsible for the police and other law enforcement agencies, “will look closely and very closely at yesterday’s events – devastating events – and will form a view on them in the near future.”

Jarvis said the Government would “move swiftly” to decide whether changes should be made to property laws, describing it as a “real priority for the Home Secretary”.

Crossbows are legal in the UK and no license or registration is required to own one. However, it is illegal to carry a crossbow in public without a “good reason”.

Jarvis said it was “entirely reasonable” to consider changing current laws on crossbow ownership in the UK.

Under these regulations, a person 18 years of age or older can legally purchase and own a crossbow without the need for a license or registration.

Available online for as little as £50 (around $64), they have come into the public eye in recent years after being used in several high-profile crimes.

On Christmas Day 2021, 19-year-old Jaswant Singh Chail arrested on the grounds of Windsor Castle in possession of a crossbow. He told the officials he was there to kill Queen Elizabeth II.

The incident prompted then-Home Secretary Priti Patel to launch an inquiry into tightening controls on crossbows, and in February 2024 the Government reissued a call for evidence to consider stricter regulations on the weapons.

A forensic scientist is seen at a house in Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Hertfordshire, England, where three women were killed in a crossbow attack the previous evening, July 10, 2024.

James Manning/PA Images/Getty


After the attack on Wednesday, Jarvis told the BBC: The new British government The results of this review will be “expeditiously examined” in the context of the details of the murder investigation that is still ongoing north of London.

Gavin Hales, senior associate fellow at the Police Foundation, a UK policing think tank, wrote in social media posts that the existing law “seems to conflict with firearms laws” and that “a quick look at it shows crossbows for sale that can fire their bolts/arrows at nearly 400 feet/second, apparently generating more than 80 feet/pounds of kinetic energy.”

He pointed out that “the legal limit for air rifles, which do not require a license, is 12 ft/lbs.”

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