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4(1)A person is guilty of an offence if—N.I.
(a)he manufactures a realistic imitation firearm;
(b)he modifies an imitation firearm so that it becomes a realistic imitation firearm;
(c)he sells a realistic imitation firearm; or
(d)he brings a realistic imitation firearm into Northern Ireland or causes one to be brought into Northern Ireland.
(2)Sub-paragraph (1) has effect subject to the defences in paragraph 5.
[F1(2A)The Department of Justice may by regulations—
(a)provide for exceptions and exemptions from the offence under sub-paragraph (1)(a), (b) or (c); and
(b)provide for it to be a defence in proceedings for such an offence to show the matters specified or described in the regulations.]
(3)The Secretary of State may by regulations—
(a)provide for exceptions and exemptions from the offence under sub-paragraph [F2(1)(d)]; and
(b)provide for it to be a defence in proceedings for such an offence to show the matters specified or described in the regulations.
(4)Regulations under sub-paragraph [F3(2A) or (3)] may—
(a)frame any exception, exemption or defence by reference to an approval or consent given in accordance with the regulations;
(b)provide for approvals and consents to be given in relation to particular cases or in relation to such descriptions of case as may be specified or described in the regulations; and
(c)confer the function of giving approvals or consents on such persons specified or described in the regulations as[F4the Department of Justice or (as the case may be)] the Secretary of State thinks fit.
[F5(4A)The power of the Department of Justice to make regulations under sub-paragraph (2A) shall be exercisable by statutory rule for the purposes of the Statutory Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979.]
[F5(4B)That power includes power—
(a)to make different provision for different cases;
(b)to make provision subject to such exemptions and exceptions as the Department of Justice thinks fit; and
(c)to make such incidental, supplemental, consequential and transitional provision as the Department of Justice thinks fit.]
[F5(4C)Regulations under sub-paragraph (2A) shall be subject to negative resolution (within the meaning of section 41(6) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954).]
(5)The power of the Secretary of State to make regulations under sub-paragraph (3) shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
(6)That power includes power—
(a)to make different provision for different cases;
(b)to make provision subject to such exemptions and exceptions as the Secretary of State thinks fit; and
(c)to make such incidental, supplemental, consequential and transitional provision as he thinks fit.
(7)A realistic imitation firearm brought into Northern Ireland shall be liable to forfeiture under the customs and excise Acts.
(8)In sub-paragraph (7) “the customs and excise Acts” has the meaning given by section 1 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (c. 2).
(9)An offence under this paragraph shall be punishable, on summary conviction, with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or with a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or with both.
(10)In this paragraph “realistic imitation firearm” has the meaning given by paragraph 6.
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