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Owning this pistol is a non-starter; Gun will be made illegal in June.

Byline: KEVIN CORE

WEST Yorkshire Police is offering an amnesty for owners of a starting pistol which is set to become illegal.

Forces across the country are uniting to take the .380 BBM Blank Firing Revolver made by Olympic off the streets.

From June 4, possession of the gun will be a Section 1 Firearm offence, possession of which could lead to five years' imprisonment for offences under the Firearms Act 1982.

Known as a "blank firer", it is most commonly used in dog training and race events as a starting pistol.

Work by the National Ballistic Intelligence Service and the Forensic Science Service, however, has found that it can be converted into a lethal weapon.

The model makes up 40% of the live firing weapons seized by Metropolitan Police last year.

In a bid to stop the trade in the revolver, their import into the UK ended on March 24 this year.

As part of the amnesty, from today anyone who owns one of the revolvers is being urged to bring it to a police station where it can be disposed of properly.

Supt Paul Langan, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "The amnesty covers these revolvers whether they have been converted into a live ammunition firing weapon or not.

"Therefore I would urge anyone who owns one of these pistols to hand them in to their local police station during this amnesty.

"Failure to do so would be a very serious matter and could see you before the courts answering to some very serious charges and potentially looking at five years in prison for possession of a Section 1 Firearm."

People can hand in the Revolvers at police stations across West Yorkshire.

Supt Langan added: "Here in West Yorkshire we take firearms offences very seriously.

"Please don't become an offender by keeping these firearms because we do pursue offenders to the fullest extent of the law, so keeping hold of this revolver simply isn't worth the risk.

"This is about preventing injury and harm to members of the public.

"Removing these pistols will significantly reduce the ability of criminals to cause harm to others.

"Gun crime within West Yorkshire is falling.

This change in law will provide greater opportunities to deal with gun crime and create safer communities."

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OUTLAWED: The Olympic .380 BBM revolver which will become illegal on June 4
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2010
Words:394
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