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Police in Palmerston North would like to remind retailers about the rules relating to air-operated pistols after more than 100 were seized from a local import shop that didn't hold a dealer's license.
The seizure was made earlier this month and enquiries are ongoing before any decision is made as to whether to prosecute.
The firearms seized use air compressed by a cocking spring to fire a round plastic pellet some 20 metres, and while they appear to be toys, they have the potential to produce painful results.
Two such firearms were seized recently from two youths who were firing the air gun at children playing in a school playground.
The Arms Act 1983 prohibits the sale of air-operated pistols without a dealer's license to any person.
If you are aged between 16 and 18 years you have to hold a firearms licence to own such a pistol. If you are over 18 you don't require a licence but must only obtain the firearms from licensed dealers, licensed people or from individuals 18 years of age or over.
Sales to people under 16 are strictly prohibited.
Area Arms Officer Greg Nyhan said: "We want to take the opportunity to remind retailers that possession and sale of guns, and similar air guns, is an offence and they will be seized and destroyed. We may also prosecute offenders.
"It is also timely to remind everyone that unlawful possession of airguns regardless of their strength, and discharging these weapons in a public place, is also an offence."
Police are also urging other retailers to check whether their stock and if they hold such items without a licence they are being urged to hand them over to police, no questions asked.
Mr Nyhan said: "The important thing is to not allow these items to get into the hands of people who will either deliberately or inadvertently misuse them. By making parents and retailers aware of both the risks and the laws, we can hopefully ensure that we don't find ourselves dealing with a serious injury."