Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles is asking families and charities not to give youngsters realistic-looking toy guns this Christmas.
His call comes in support of an appeal by the Gun Control Network amid concerns that many children have already received toy and BB guns – which fire small plastic or aluminium balls – as gifts from Santa.
Mr Charles said: “While most toy guns are harmless, BB guns can cause considerable damage if fired irresponsibly. There’s also a strong argument that giving toy and BB guns to youngsters can lead to future gun crime and antisocial behaviour.”
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