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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2008, 18:36 GMT
Hundreds of fake guns handed in
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More than 1,000 fake guns have been handed in by shopkeepers
More than 1,000 fake guns have been handed over to police by shop keepers as part of a month-long initiative to help make Manchester's streets safer.

According to police, people who carry an imitation gun are more likely to be shot by a real weapon as it is almost impossible to tell the difference.

As a result, Greater Manchester Police is urging all owners to give them up.

The plea comes five months after it became illegal to sell, make or import realistic imitation firearms.

Detective Chief Inspector John Lyons said: "We are determined to get all guns off our streets.

End of March

"Preventing the illegal trading in guns is one of the ways we are doing this."

According to police in about 80% of crimes involving guns the trigger is never pulled which leads officers to believe that in many cases the weapons are not real.

Anyone with a fake firearm has until 31 March to hand it in to police.

Carrying imitation firearms in a public place without authority is also illegal and could lead to six months in prison.

Det Ch Insp Lyons added: "These visits to dealers will reassure them that they are adhering to the new legislation and ensure that they continue to do so."

SEE ALSO
Hand in air weapons, urge police
04 Feb 08 |  Staffordshire
Gun hand-in nets mass weapon haul
10 Nov 06 |  Manchester
Hand in replica guns, police urge
31 Jan 05 |  South Yorkshire

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