Brits will need to share sensitive medical records containing details of their mental health in order to get a gun licence, Priti Patel has announced.

From November 1, shooting enthusiasts will need a doctor's report which also includes any details of neurological conditions they might have before obtaining a new, or renewing a licence.

And they must highlight if they have had issues with substance abuse.

The tightened gun laws were made in the wake of the Plymouth shootings in August, that left five dead, including a three-year-old.

Applicants social media history will be screened by police officers for the first time, under the new measures.

Ms Patel said: "This new guidance prioritises public safety above all else and we have taken considerable care to ensure it is comprehensive and enforceable, having worked closely with the medical, policing and shooting sectors.

“We are delivering on our promise to the British people to ensure everyone feels safe in their communities."

Police will also be told to undertake social media checks as part of the application process for the first time.

Women light candles at a vigil for the victims of the Plymouth mass shooting in August (

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PA)

Home Office officials are keen to ensure individuals who want to own a shotgun or rifle have not previously expressed sympathy with the extremist groups for example, the incel movement, Islamism or far-Right groups.

Plymouth murderer Jake Davison had posted a series of hate-fuelled online rants inspired by the misogynistic 'incel' or 'involuntary celibate' movement.

But his posts - which should have been treated as glaring red flags - appear to have been missed by Devon and Cornwall Police.

After the mass murder, Shaun Sawyer, the force's chief constable, said his officers did not look at social media accounts when someone applied for a gun licence because it would be 'an invasion of privacy'.

Plymouth murderer Jake Davison killed five people before taking his own life in August (

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PA)

Home Office chiefs believe existing background checks - which include criminal convictions and previous run-ins with the law, unmanaged debt or even dishonesty - go far enough.

Existing laws do police to visit the homes of first-time applicants, to ensure they have utmost confidence in an individual’s suitability to own a gun with no risk to public.

Two credible referees for a firearm and one for a shotgun must be provided before a licence can be issued.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for firearms licensing, Chief Constable Debbie Tedds, welcomes the new guidelines.

“The need for medical records to be viewed by officers carrying out the licensing check, is something policing has been encouraging for many years and have been utilising as part of the Home Office scheme. The consultation process has been thorough and we welcome this addition to the guidance.

“Policing take this matter incredibly seriously and any advancement on the already extensive checks will help to ensure that only those who are safe to carry a firearms licence will receive one.”

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