Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Friday, 5 December 2008

Police Christmas air gun appeal

Parents in Shropshire are being asked not to buy air guns as Christmas presents after youths fired pellets at shop windows.

When air guns are fired in public causing alarm it can be considered as anti-social behaviour, West Mercia Police said.

They could also could be mistaken for a real gun result in a police response.

The youths were spoken to by officers and two toy guns bought from a stall in Market Drayton were confiscated.

"Although these guns were obviously toys, so not illegal to have out in public, the pellets were hitting nearby premises and causing a nuisance," a police spokesman said.

"Air guns are not illegal to have or use in your own home but if the guns look realistic, even if on close inspection they are made of plastic, then they may be illegal to sell or have out in public without reasonable excuse.

"Realistic-looking air guns that do not comply with the specifications of the Violent Crime Reduction Act are illegal to sell or have out in public without reasonable excuse."



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