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Toy Guns Could Prove Fatal, Warn Police

Warwickshire police fear the number of incidents involving air weapons and fake guns could soar next week as the schools come out on half-term.

Despite numerous warnings, police are still being called to many incidents a month.

Officers are concerned that a false move by a youngster with a gun could lead to a fatality, as police have to treat any gun as real until they are satisfied that it is safe.

Last month police in the county had to deal with 17 incidents involving guns, ten of which were air weapons.

And with half-term coming up, they are warning parents to make sure that they don’t let their children misuse any air guns or ball bearing guns.

Armed officers have to respond to any threat of a weapon being involved, and are worried that there could be lethal consequences if someone fails to follow police instructions during an incident.

Insp Chris Lewis, who is in charge of the Firearms Unit, said:

“Although there are strict regulations covering air weapons, there is no legislation covering the so-called “airsoft” weapons such as ball bearing guns. Ball bearing guns can be identical to real firearms and have the potential to injure.

“Any weapon when handled incorrectly can pose a danger to the use, the public or to wildlife.

”I would urge the public and in particular parents and carers of children to ensure that every care is taken to use and handle these weapons correctly – at the right time and in the right place.

“Educating young people about air weapons safety is one of my top priorities. I am speaking with agencies involved with young persons to try and develop educational programmes.”
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CWN / Warwickshire Constabulary / 17 Oct 00
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