Police are appealing to air weapon owners to be responsible when using them after a number of recent incidents.
A cat had to have its leg amputated last week after it had been shot by, what is believed to have been, an air rifle. In a separate incident, specially trained armed officers were called to an incident involving the discharge of air weapons in a public place.
Insp Rob Neeson, Deputy Commander at East Staffs LPT said: “East Staffordshire, like many other parts of the country, does experience air weapon misuse. Not only are air weapons dangerous and can kill, but when misused, are a major cause of nuisance and worry in our communities.
“People carrying or using air weapons, BB guns or fake guns could face the possibility of being confronted by armed police officers.”
Someone reporting a firearms incident to the police doesn’t usually don’t know whether it is a real gun or not and even the most experienced armed officers can find it difficult to tell the difference when they initially respond to a reported incident.
It is illegal to carry an imitation firearm in public and the consequences could be very serious. If you carry a BB gun in a public place, you are potentially risking your life if someone sees it and calls the police.
When the police arrive, they will not know for sure that it is a BB gun. Even trained police officers have great difficulty distinguishing some of these guns from actual firearms and have to act as if they are real.