The 23-year-old, who plays for Premier League champions Manchester City, posted a picture of himself training with his England teammates at St George’s Park.
The tattoo of an assault rifle on his right calf clearly visible.
A post shared by Raheem Sterling x 😇 (@sterling7) on May 27, 2018 at 2:41pm PDT
Lucy Cope, who founded Mothers Against Guns after her son Damian was shot dead outside a club in central London in July 2012, said the ink was “totally unacceptable”.
She told The Sun: “We demand he has the tattoo lasered off or covered up with a different tattoo.
“If he refuses he should be dropped from the England team.
“He’s supposed to be a role model but chooses to glamorise guns.”
More from UK
Thousands of children leaving primary school severely obese, new figures show
NHS ‘must do more to tackle white privilege’, trust chief says
Rotherham child abuse whistleblower: ‘Victims are being forgotten’
Home and Away actress Cornelia Frances dies aged 77 following cancer battle
YouTube deletes more than half of violent music videos flagged by Met
Tuesday’s national newspaper front pages
But the former Liverpool player, who is among five England strikers heading to Russia for the World Cup, uploaded an Instagram post saying his new ink has a “deeper meaning”.
He wrote: “When I was 2 my father died from being gunned down to death I made a promise to myself I would never touch a gun in my life time, I shoot with my right foot so it has a deeper meaning N still unfinished.”