Friday, January 20, 2012

Five years in jail for replica starting pistol

Farther of five, Michael Bryce is serving five years in prison after being convicted of selling a blank firing replica pistol to a buyer in Northern Ireland. Such blank firing pistols are popular in Europe among collectors, film makers, and for disorientating muggers in self-defence.Those prosecuting claim that the replica in question could be 'converted' into a 'potentially lethal' weapon. I suggest they also might want to look into prosecuting retail outlets which sell common staple-guns to the public - far more suitable and easier to convert into a live firearm than a replica made from cast alloys similar to that of toy cap guns, and likely to explode after a couple of shots if drilled out and chambered for live ammunition.

Not only is this sentence draconian in the extreme, the comments by the judge in this case are worrying. Why exactly does the buyer's location in Northern Ireland make for an 'aggravating factor'? The Internet searches, pulled from the defendent's computer are also perfectly normal and expected web browsing for someone interested in firearms. No matter what your view on firearms is, five years in jail for a harmless object that isn't even a weapon is absolutely absurd.

Please sign the petition below and express your outrage at this sentence to your MP. Also, make your thoughts known to Bedfordshire Police via email.

Repeal the mandatory minimum sentence of five years for firearm possession