Advice issued to youngsters over legal use of air weapons and BB guns
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Young people, parents and carers across Sussex are being advised to make sure they continue to use air weapons or air soft guns (BB guns) legally.
It follows recent calls to the police from the public concerned about seeing air weapons and BB guns being carried in public.
Armed officers were recently called to incidents in Selsey and Horsham, following reports from members of public about firearms being seen in public.
In both cases, the weapons seen were not viable firearms, but looked realistic and caused public concern. Both incidents were entirely avoidable, had those involved taken sensible steps not to have the items in public.
All air weapons and air soft guns must be used on private property and have the permission of the property owner.
Inspector Oli Fisher from Sussex Police’s Tactical Firearms Unit said: “BB guns and air weapons are legal to buy and many people in the county will own them.
"It is important for everyone who owns or handles one to make sure they understand the law and stay within it. In some cases, items are made to look more realistic by being repainted.
"If the colour of the items is changed to make them look like a real firearm, this risks causing unnecessary concern to the general public.
"In these circumstances, armed response officers will often be deployed to respond to these concerns from the public.
"This puts the owner or handler at risk of being arrested and getting a criminal conviction, and it also puts the public at risk if our armed officers are busy responding to these concerns when they may be needed at a critical incident elsewhere.”