Trader calls for law's tightening

BB-GUN trader Stuart Clarke today called for a change in the law to prevent the potentially-dangerous weapons being sold to children.The Star revealed yesterday how police, schools, and local councils are uniting to try to drive ball bearing (BB) guns off the streets of Suffolk.

BB-GUN trader Stuart Clarke today called for a change in the law to prevent

the potentially-dangerous weapons being sold to children.

The Star revealed yesterday how police, schools, and local councils are uniting to try to drive ball bearing (BB) guns off the streets of Suffolk.

Ipswich Borough Council is to ban their sale on the market from the start of next month, under the terms of a new licence all traders are being asked to sign.


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Angry Roger Granville of Coddenham, who sells them on his army surplus stall claimed it will force him out of Ipswich but Ipswich MP Chris Mole promised his support to any steps to outlaw the weapons.

Today Mr Clarke, manager of Cash Exchange in Norwich Road which stocks the weapons alongside other items, said the time is right to tighten up controls - but not totally ban them.

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He said: "The law says they can be sold to children over 14, but I have always felt that is a little bit lax. Mr Mole is calling for them to be outlawed altogether, and we do think that's wrong. If he said they should be sold to adults only, we would support him 100 per cent.

"We have been selling soft air weapons for two years and I have always said these guns should not be sold to children at all.

"We have always had an over-18s policy in our shop and think other shops should do the same.

"Younger customers who we turn away often say 'ok I'll go somewhere else,' which is a bit annoying but not really a problem because we never intended to have their custom anyway."

He said parents still bought BB guns for their children, but said it was then their responsibility to advise the youngsters about safety precautions.

He said: "They are toys, fairly harmless in fact, although I have heard of people being shot in the eye. We liaise fairly well with the police and we get to hear of incidents.

"But the real danger is in that they are very realistic looking, and a 14-year-old doesn't realise the implications of that. Adults should have more common sense not to take these things out in public places including parks and forests and we always tell people not to do that."

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