Page last updated at 18:36 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 19:36 UK

AK47 hits target at auction

Dan Stanton
BBC Newsline

AK47 rifle
The AK47 was one of four up for auction in Belfast

A genuine AK47 assault rifle has gone under the hammer at an auction in Belfast.

It was one of four de-activated weapons which could be bought by the public at Belfast Auctions on Tuesday.

The rifle was bought for £340 by a gun collector.

Most of the items on view were the sort of things you would find in rooms like it across Northern Ireland.

What was different about this auction is that it also sells guns.

Steven Russell of Belfast Auctions said the firearms were left in last week by a dealer and collector of guns.

"They were probably bought in England, de-activated and sold to dealers and then they are sold to other collectors and dealers throughout the UK."

Certificates

Mr Russell said anyone could bid for the weapons as long as they had valid ID such as a driving licence or passport.

"Obviously you are not going to sell them to some kids in the street."

The AK47 and three other weapons up for sale all have certificates to show they have been de-activated.

Another AK47 which was sold last week for under £200 also had a certificate.

The police told BBC Newsline that so long as vendors have proof of de-activation under guidelines set down by the Home Office they are not breaking the law.



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