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What's this man doing in a Cardiff shop with an AK47?

Byline: By Gareth Rogers South Wales Echo

Shoppers were shocked to see a new shop selling AK47 guns had opened in Cardiff - but it was all an educational spoof.

The CBAT art shop in Bute Street, Cardiff, was handed over to a roadshow teaching people about the danger of guns on our streets yesterday.

Actor Geoff Cotton, whose character Henri Durand was shot dead in the BBC drama Spooks, has backed a crackdown on the gun trade and was at the event to promote a petition to tighten up on gun trafficking.

He has also starred in a spoof ad produced by charity Amnesty International, which has been shown in cinemas for the past few weeks.

Speaking at the roadshow, Geoff said: 'It is ironic that Henri Durand was killed by an AK47, but it has helped me to understand more about gun crime.

'I totally support the campaign to stop gun sales and think that the fade ad delivers a hard-hitting message.'

The educational cinema advert and live roadshow both feature Cotton posing as a spoof television gun salesman boasting that an AK47 can blow off heads and limbs while blowing holes through someone's body.

He claims that they can be fired by children and are easily available and affordable worldwide because of loopholes in laws.

Amnesty International Wales director Eleanor White said: 'Some people might find our advert disturbing.

'But what is truly shocking is that one person dies every minute from armed violence.

'There is a scandalous lack of controls to stop weapons getting into the wrong hands.'

Amnesty International has now started a petition urging top politicians to discuss the tightening of controls of the international arms trade.

They are aiming to get one million people to lend support to their campaign by texting their name and the word 'arms' to 84118.

The charity aims to present their petition to the United Nations and lobby for an arms trade treaty in June. Ex-Spooks star to feature in spoof ad: Film fans at Vue Cinema in the Millennium Plaza, Cardiff, are to see a special spoof advert put together by charity Amnesty International.

Geoff Cotton stars as a TV host from a sales channel trying to sell AK47 guns.

In the tongue-in-cheek advert that will run before films screened at the cinema chain throughout March, Geoff says that the gun, veteran of 75 wars, which can be easily used by children, is freely available at a bargain price.

The advert can be viewed on

To join the Amnesty International petition for an international arms treaty text 'arms' to 84118.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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