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Firearms: Crime

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents involving the use of ball-bearing guns have been reported in the last five years; and what action he intends to take to tackle the misuse of such guns. (142508)

Available figures relate to the use of BB guns. A BB gun is a low powered weapon which fires pellets (rather than ball bearings) at a low velocity.

Statistics on the number of offences involving BB guns have only been collected separately since April 2004.

There were 2,864 and 2,753 BB gun offences during 2004-05 and 2005-06 respectively.

The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 will double the maximum custodial sentence for possessing an imitation firearm in a public place without reasonable excuse to one year. It will also make it illegal to sell any imitation firearm to a person under 18 and will ban the manufacture, import and sale of realistic imitation firearms. We intend to commence these provisions with effect from 1 October.