THIS WEEK IN 1992: Council may get shot of replica firearms

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Portsmouth council was considering a ban on the sale of replica guns and other weapons at city-organised shows.

Environment committee chairman Alex Bentley wanted to end the sale of replica guns, crossbows, bows, slings and catapults at council-run fairs and exhibitions at places such as Castle Field and Southsea Common.

The previous year The News campaigned to highlight the potential dangers of replica guns and how easy it was to buy them in Portsmouth.

Cllr Bentley told a meeting of the committee that all such items he saw on sale at a Southsea show cost less than £20.

Hi-tech catapults available to children had a range of more than a quarter of a mile.

He said: ‘I would challenge anybody to realise they were dealing with a replica gun.

‘You could not tell if they were real or not.

‘I am very worried that replica guns and other items could get into children’s hands with potentially dangerous consequences,’ he added.

Cllr Bentley, who had three children of his own, said he had no wish to harm responsible and legitimate gun shop owners in Portsmouth.