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Explanatory Memorandum to Firearms (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2005

Background

The Order replicates sections 37 and 39 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 by making it an offence to possess an air gun or imitation firearm in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse and by prohibiting air guns that use a self-contained gas cartridge system.  Its provisions are intended to address the growing misuse of air guns and imitation firearms.  This is largely in relation to criminal damage and nuisance but also the practice of carrying imitation firearms to intimidate others.  The problem with air guns that use a self-contained gas cartridge system is that they can be converted easily to fire live ammunition.

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