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Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006

Section 36: Manufacture, import and sale of realistic imitation firearms

232.This section makes it an offence to manufacture, import or sell a realistic imitation firearm. It includes a power to make regulations to provide for exceptions, exemptions and defences to the new offence. Realistic imitation firearms are defined by section 38.

233.Subsection (1) applies the offence to a person who:

  • manufactures or sells a realistic imitation firearm;

  • modifies an imitation firearm to become a realistic imitation firearm; or

  • imports, or causes to be imported, an imitation firearm.

234.Subsection (2) applies defences in Section 37 to the offence. These defences allow for the continuing availability of realistic imitation firearms for certain specific legitimate purposes.

235.Subsection (3) allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to provide for exceptions and exemptions to the offence, and to provide for further defences in respect of the offence. Subsection (4) allows for exceptions, exemptions and defences to be based on the giving of approvals or consents, either for particular cases or for types of cases. Subsection (5) requires the regulations to be set out in a statutory instrument and to be subject to the negative resolution process in Parliament.

236.Subsections (7) and (8) provide HM Revenue & Customs with a power to seize items imported into Great Britain in contravention of this section.

237.Subsection (9) makes the offence a summary offence with a maximum penalty of 51 weeks imprisonment or a £5,000 fine, or both. Subsection (10) sets the maximum term of imprisonment to 6 months but this will increase to 51 weeks in England and Wales after the commencement of the sentencing provisions in section 281(5) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

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