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"This in turn results in fewer weapons which could have the potential to fall into the wrong hands or be used for the wrong purposes."
This is the bollox that the Police need to seriously back away from.
I'd wager that the incidence of any of this junk being used in serious crime is so small that it barely registers in statistics - if there were an honest set of statistics possible.
If antiques, props and souvenirs are considered dangerous to own, are we eventually going to see an amnesty to hand in all household tools and cutlery, on the basis that it "could have the potential to fall into the wrong hands or be used for the wrong purposes"?
There is a multi-billion pound criminal justice system there to deal with criminals, so effing deal with them. There is no moral or lawful need to terrify, demonise and criminalise the general population. That is what backward, oppressive countries do, the ones that lack our ancient progression in civil liberties and freedoms.
Prior to the VCRA, our local rag did a 'Ban everything that looks like a gun' piece. This was in case a replica/toy got used in a stick-up
I normally never write to papers, but made the exception, saying that I'd rather someone poke a replica in my face than a real one or a knife, as the worst they could do was hit me with it.
Saw a deactivated Bren gun in a Hastings antique shop the other day, it had lovely smooth working parts!
The dealer gave me that concerned look when I carried out slick NSPs on it. Very nice bit of kit and quite surprised it was on public view and for only £250!
The amnesty in our area has thrown up a couple of gems, a brass Messrs Schermuly rope firing gun - weighs a 'kin ton and a slightly rusty, but no doubt serviceable top break Webley. The Webley looked to be fully functional, though it was in a sealed bag by the time I got my greasy paws on it. No doubt both will be melted down and another tiny drop of history will be lost.