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(1)The Firearms Act 1968 is amended as follows.
(2)After section 24 there is inserted—
(1)It is an offence for a person in possession of an air weapon to fail to take reasonable precautions to prevent any person under the age of eighteen from having the weapon with him.
(2)Subsection (1) does not apply where by virtue of section 23 of this Act the person under the age of eighteen is not prohibited from having the weapon with him.
(3)In proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) it is a defence to show that the person charged with the offence—
(a)believed the other person to be aged eighteen or over; and
(b)had reasonable ground for that belief.
(4)For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown the matters specified in subsection (3) if—
(a)sufficient evidence of those matters is adduced to raise an issue with respect to them; and
(b)the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”
(3)In section 57 (interpretation), in subsection (3) (offences relating to air weapons), for “and 24(4)” there is substituted “ , 24(4) and 24ZA(1) ”.
(4)In the table in Part 1 of Schedule 6 (prosecution and punishment of offences), after the entry for section 24(4), there is inserted—
|“Section 24ZA(1)||Failing to prevent minors from having air weapons||Summary||A fine of level 3 on the standard scale.||Paragraphs 7 and 8 of Part II of this Schedule apply.”|
(5)In Part 2 of Schedule 6 (supplementary provisions as to trial and punishment of offences), in paragraphs 7 and 8 (forfeiture and disposal of firearms), for “or 24(4)” there is substituted “ , 24(4) or 24ZA(1) ”.
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