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A man from Bristol suspected of buying a forward-venting blank firearm has been arrested and a firearm seized.

seized firearmThe man, aged 25, was arrested by National Crime Agency officers at his home on Tower Road South this morning [Tuesday 29 June]. He remains in custody for questioning.

A forward-venting blank firearm was found in his bedroom and seized by officers.

Forward-venting blank firearms are illegal in the UK, and are readily convertible to fire live rounds.

NCA Senior Investigating Officer, Rowena Chopping, said: “The illicit firearms market moves at a fast pace. We’re now seeing more forward-venting blank firearms being moved more frequently between criminal groups, which is a worrying trend.

“This type of firearm can be converted into a lethal weapon, and then used by organised criminals to threaten, intimidate, and kill.

“Since 2018 we’ve seized more than 500 forward-venting blank firearms as part of Project Vizardlike. Criminals smuggling firearms around the country should know we and our policing partners will pursue them tirelessly.”

Project Vizardlike is a national NCA-led operation targeting people buying forward venting blank firing weapons online and importing them into the UK.

Since 2018, at least 522 prohibited weapons and 3500 rounds of ammunition have been seized in the UK by the NCA and police forces as part of this project and 83 people have been arrested.

If you have any information about illegal firearms or any concerns about people’s access to firearms, please report it to police or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

29 June 2021