UK crossbow legal guidelines defined after household slaughtered at residence in ‘triple homicide’

As three women were brutally killed in a horror ‘crossbow’ attack on Wednesday, July 10, we take a look at why the medieval weapon is so easy to access.

Carol Hunt, 61 and her two daughters Hannah Hunt, 28, and Louise Hunt, 25, all died from their horrific injuries after they were allegedly attacked with a crossbow in their Bushy, Hertfordshire, home.

Medics tried to save the women, who are the wife and daughters of BBC racing commentator John Hunt, however, they were later pronounced dead.

READ MORE: Police found eerie pit in man’s house – it ended up ‘destroying’ entire city

Click here for the latest news from the Daily Star.

Police caught the suspected killer, Kyle Clifford, in a north London cemetery, and it’s understood the 26-year-old is the ex-boyfriend of Louise.

Stock image of a crossbow
The Crossbow Act 1987 only makes crossbow ownership, use and possession illegal for under 18s

This follows the 2021 incident where Jaswant Sing Chail broke into Windsor Castle on Christmas Day with the intention to murder the late Queen, armed with a crossbow.

Unlike guns, crossbow use in the UK is largely unregulated.

The Crossbow Act 1987 makes it illegal to buy, sell, hire or possesses crossbow only if you are under 18.

Louise Hunt
Louise Hunt died along side her sister and mum in an alleged crossbow attack

Under the law, adults can freely use, buy and own the weapon, without being on a register or having a license, as is the case with guns.

That said, if you are caught with one in public “without a reasonable excuse” you could be slapped with a prison sentence of up to four years.

The previous government ordered a review of crossbow legislation. The Home Office found that while crossbows were used in fewer than 10 killings between 2011 and 2021, it was “clear” that they “pose a risk” when used as a weapon.

Stock image of a crossbow
Crossbows are far easier to get hold of than guns

They launched an eight-week consultation on the weapon in February which wrapped up in April, however was sidelined temporarily due to the general election, reports Sky.

Following Tuesday’s grim attack, the Home Secretary is reviewing crossbow legislation.

Security Minister Dan Jarvis told Sky News: “I know that the home secretary is looking at this literally as we speak. There was a call for evidence that was initiated a number of months ago. She will want to consider that evidence in the round.

Hannah Hunt
Hannah Hunt also died in yesterday’s tragic attack

“She’ll want to look clearly, very carefully at what happened yesterday – devastating events – and she will take a view in the near future.”

The ancient weapon, which is used like a long gun, is traditionally used in archery. They were also used in hunting, however this is now illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here