The offence of possessing an imitation firearm in a public place without reasonable excuse was created by an amendment to section 19 of the Firearms Act 1968 which was introduced by section 37(1)(d) of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. The new offence came into force on
Since the amendment, the sentencing statistics include data on the new offence under a code that also covers airweapons. Therefore we are unable to provide data for imitation firearms alone. In 2004, 358 people were sentenced for carrying a loaded or unloaded imitation firearm or airweapon in a public place. Of these, 29 were given a custodial sentence.