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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Police warn over dummy weapons
BB guns graphic
Police in Cornwall fear they will end up shooting someone in error after another dummy gun incident.

During the latest case a 34-year-old man was allegedly shot in the eye with a ball bearing gun (BB gun), in a drive-by incident.

The man from Newquay was sitting in his car when he was hit with a pellet, leaving him with a bruised eyeball.

It follows a spate of recent cases, including one alleged shooting by a six-year-old boy.

The police are concerned that armed officers will mistakenly shoot someone who is brandishing one of the weapons.


Officers in Cornwall are increasingly being called out to incidents involving BB guns and there are concerns growing that they will end up shooting someone.

Spokesman, Devon and Cornwall Police
In another incident in Newquay, a man was arrested after armed police stormed a bus.

He had been seen loading pellets into a BB gun while sitting on the bus.

A 29-year-old Newquay man is due to answer police bail in connection with the incident, on 25 July.

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman said officers have launched a campaign to crack down on the use of the replica weapons.

He said: "Officers in Cornwall are increasingly being called out to incidents involving BB guns, and there are concerns growing that they will end up shooting someone.

Police marksmen
Armed police are tackling toy gun incidents
"The fact is these guns are extremely cheap to buy, and unfortunately there are some people who do silly things with them."

He explained that because the weapons are designed to look as genuine as possible, members of the public understandably believe they are real.

"They are often magazine-loaded weapons and when people see them being used in the public, they quite rightly call us out."

A 16-year-old was arrested in connection with the latest Newquay incident and is due to be questioned by police.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has written to the Home Office calling for a ban on carrying ball-bearing guns, following the incidents in Cornwall.

See also:

07 Jul 00 | Scotland
Replica gun control call
10 Nov 00 | Wales
Tribunal clears fake gun doctor
04 Jan 99 | Africa
South Africa toy guns warning
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