'Dangerous' toy guns confiscated
, April 6, 2008
An Interior Ministry crackdown on toy guns that fire real pellets has resulted in them being cleared from the shelves of shops across the country, it has emerged.
A community police campaign to have the 'weapons' removed from cold stores was pledged after the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, last month reported that the guns were freely available for as little as BD1.
They fire hard plastic pellets and were allegedly being used to rob or terrorise people on the streets of Bahrain.
An Interior Ministry official confirmed the police had been carrying out spot checks, particularly in cold stores and small shops in several areas of Khamis, Sanabis, Jidhafs, Budaiya and Isa Town.
'These have been ordered off shelves,' said the official, who declined to be named. 'Wherever we find these are being sold, the store owners are advised to take them off.'
The official said the Industry and Commerce Ministry had also been brought in to help.
'We have written to them to intervene and stop their illegal import,' they said.
A GDN visit to several cold stores, including one where such a toy gun had earlier been purchased, also drew a blank yesterday.
One cold store owner in Jidhafs reported he still had some in stock but would not sell them. 'I am going to give them back to the same person who gave them to me,' he said.
The man would not reveal where he got them from.
Another store owner in Tashan said he ran out several days ago and had not ordered any fresh stock.
He said he was visited by community police officers, who ordered the toy guns off the shelves.
'I had no idea these were illegal to sell,' he said. 'Now I know and I will not sell them.'
It was earlier reported that thugs had been using the toy guns to rob people at gunpoint and firing pellets at passers-by.
One victim narrowly escaped serious injury when he was hit just below the eye, after being fired on from a passing vehicle.
There have also been incidents of people being robbed of cash or their mobile phones by young thugs armed with the toy guns, said the Interior Ministry official.
The pellets come in a realistic 'magazine' and could apparently be easily replaced with metal ball bearings, making the airgun even more dangerous.-TradeArabia News Service