Bird was eventually pursued by armed police before turning a gun on himself.

It has been reported he may have been involved in a dispute over a will, and police have confirmed solicitor Kevin Commons is among the dead.

Police said Bird had firearms licences, which he is understood to have held for 20 years.

Cumbria Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: “He had a shotgun certificate and a firearms licence for weapons but we do not know at this stage whether the weapons that we recovered are those he was licensed for. A detailed ballistic examination is being undertaken to confirm this.”

Two weapons have been seized by police and are being examined by forensic experts. These are a shotgun and a .22 rifle fitted with a telescopic sight.

The Cumbria force are now involved in what is likely to be their biggest ever investigation, which includes 30 crime scenes.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, made a statement to the House of Commons saying: “Undoubtedly, yesterday’s killings will prompt a debate about our country’s gun laws. That is understandable – and indeed it is right and proper. But it would be wrong to react before we know the full facts.”

Speaking at a press conference Prime Minister, David Cameron, warned against a “knee-jerk” change to the gun laws.

BASC’s David Ilsley has stated: “We are in touch with the Home Secretary’s Teresa May’s office at the Home Office and are discussing the implications. We will be responding on the national media to the content of the parliamentary statement expected at lunchtime. We expect that the statement will not recommend any immediate legislative change and will warn against a kneejerk response.”

Read the the Home Secretary’s statement here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/03/cumbria-shootings-theresamay

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