Davison applied for the gun, which police have said was for clay pigeon shooting, in July 2017 and was given a five-year licence in January the following year.
In September last year he was accused of assaulting two youths in a park and was tracked down after officers circulated CCTV. Davison admitted the offence during interview and was placed on the Pathfinder scheme, which allows an offender to agree to a “contract” to reduce harm and reoffending.
It can include restorative justice work and “engaging with interventions to address underlying issues”. It is understood Davison undertook anger management courses. This meant he did not have to go through the courts and any caution or charge was deferred.
The IOPC on Friday confirmed that police did not remove his gun until “a scheme worker raised concerns with the force’s Firearms Licensing Department at the end of November 2020 that Mr Davison was in possession of a shotgun, and as a consequence the shotgun and certificate were seized by police on December 7 2020”.
Davison completed the course in March, and police carried out a review and returned his shotgun and licence on July 9. Officers have admitted that they did not check his social media pages for fear of breaching his privacy.
An IOPC spokesman said: “The investigation will consider what background and suitability checks were made by the police, including from open source material, and whether the force had any information, from Mr Davison’s GP and any other medical or mental health services he may have engaged with, concerning his state of mind.
“It will also look at the force decision to divert Mr Davison from prosecution for the assaults last year.”
The police watchdog will examine whether police firearm teams have learnt lessons from other deadly shootings, as requested by the coroner.
Shaun Sawyer, the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, on Friday told the BBC he had not been asked to step down in wake of the shootings but would consider his position “once we have the facts”.
“As a man and a father and a parent, a child has lost its life on my watch, through a mechanism that is licensed by me”, he said.