Q329: Can I have an imitation firearm?
Yes, however it is an offence to possess an imitation firearm in a public place. There are some exceptions for weapons used in historical re-enactments, theatrical productions and film making.
An imitation firearm has been defined as 'anything, which has the appearance of a firearm'. Many imitation weapons are very realistic and until the weapon has been seized it is difficult to ascertain whether it is genuine or not.
It is illegal to possess an imitation firearm in a public place. Whilst possession elsewhere may not be illegal ,all calls to police involving firearms are treated as if it is a genuine firearm and the fact that many are virtually indistinguishable from a firearm can cause great public concern and place the holder in a very vulnerable and potentially dangerous position.
It is also an offence to possess an article capable of being used to convert an imitation firearm, where the person intends to use the article (whether by itself or with other articles) to convert such a firearm. Registered firearms dealers are exempt from this offence.