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Replica Firearms

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many gun crimes were carried out using replica firearms in the last year for which figures are available in (a) the Borough of Lewisham, (b) London and (c) England and Wales; and if he will make a statement; [114082](2) how many people in England and Wales have been

(a) injured and (b) killed as a result of modified replica weapons in the last year for which figures are available; [114080]

(3) how many modifiable replica handguns were sold last year in England and Wales; [114083]

(4) how many replica firearms the Government estimates were modified to shoot real bullets in the last year for which figures are available. [114081]

Numbers of recorded crimes involving replica firearms at London borough and police force level are not available. There were 1,201 recorded crimes involving imitation firearms in England and Wales in the year ending March 2002.Details of recorded crimes involving modified replica weapons are not collected separately.The number of modifiable replica handguns sold in England and Wales is not collected centrally. No estimates have been made of the number of replica firearms which have been modified to shoot live ammunition. It is illegal to modify a replica weapon to shoot live ammunition, or possess such a weapon. It is illegal to modify a replica weapon to shoot live ammunition, or possess such a weapon.It is also illegal to sell an imitation firearm which is readily convertible into a firearm and we are currently introducing a ban on the sale, transfer, import or manufacture of any air weapon using the self-contained air cartridge system which can be converted to fire conventional ammunition.