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Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 06:45 GMT
Boys' toy gun prompts armed response
BB guns graphic
A man has called for an inquiry into the sale of replica guns to children after revealing armed police were called when his son was seen with one.

Marcus Gallagher said his 13-year-old son's actions with a ball-bearing gun (BB gun) sparked the deployment of a police armed response unit to a street in the centre of Liverpool.

It is believed a neighbour spotted the youngster with the weapon that fires plastic ball bearings, and called police.

Mr Gallagher criticised shops in the city for selling the gun to his son.

He told BBC Radio Merseyside nine police vehicles were called to the scene in Percy Street on 20 October.

Minimum age

He said he had been back to the shop that sold his son the gun, where he was told children are not sold the weapons.

"But the kids are adamant that it was sold to them for 5.99," he said.

A Merseyside Police spokeswoman was unable to confirm whether the incident took place, but it was being investigated.

However, she warned parents to be careful if their children had toys like this, because armed police would respond when incidents were reported to them.

Trading standards officers say the minimum age for buying a replica firearm is 17.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Marcus Gallagher
"Will it take someone to be shot holding a plastic toy gun?"

Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

09 Jul 02 | England
04 Jan 02 | Scotland
07 Jul 00 | Scotland
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