A woman whose jealous ex-fiance shot himself to death outside her home has welcomed moves to reform gun laws.

Brighton and Hove coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley today announced she would be writing to the Home Office, the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Avon and Somerset Constabulary to recommend changes to firearms licensing following the death of Andrew Stevens on May 1.

A jury at a three day inquest in Hove which concluded today recorded a narrative verdict stating Mr Stevens had taken his own life while in a disturbed state of mind, using a firearm he should not have been permitted to buy.

The inquest had heard how former soldier Mr Stevens, 36, had been issued with a gun licence by Avon and Somerset Constabulary despite declaring on an application form that he had suffered with depression since a relationship broke down.

He received the licence in November and bought a rifle without any medical checks being carried out.

Six months later he drove from his house in Stapleton, Bristol, to the home of ex-fiancee Meike Schoenknecht in Southover High Street, Lewes.

Her landlord dialled 999 and when police arrived, with no way of knowing Mr Stevens was armed, he first pointed the wooden Second World War rifle at an officer and then turned it to his own head and pulled the trigger. He died later at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

As Miss Schoenknecht left the court with tears in her eyes today she told The Argus moves to make firearms licensing stricter "would be very welcome".

In her summing up of the case Mrs Hamilton-Deeley recounted evidence which said Mr Stevens had become obsessed about Miss Schoenknecht after she tried to end a four year relationship in 2004.

He had received regular counselling and was prescribed with anti-depressants for a brief period in 2006.

The court heard how there were four more bullets in the rifle when it was seized by police but Mrs Hamilton-Deeley told the jurors it was not the inquest's job to speculate about what Mr Stevens' intentions may have been.

She read a letter from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which stated the issuing of a firearms certificate to Mr Stevens by Avon and Somerset Constabulary had been inappropriate.

The IPCC said it had completed investigating the incident and was in the process of preparing a written report.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary said it was not prepared to comment on the issue until that report had been finished.

Chief Superintendent Nick Wilkinson, Sussex Police's East Sussex Divisional Commander, praised the bravery of PC Andy Barker, the officer Mr Stevens had aimed the rifle at.

Ch Supt Wilkinson said: "This incident highlights some of the dilemmas we face when, responding to 999 calls, police officers can often be confronted by unexpected life or death situations."