Blank firing pistol
Blank firing pistol

The Olympic .38 blank firing revolver ban

The police have highlighted that the Olympic BBM .380 calibre blank firing revolver (all variants) is a prohibited weapon due to forensic tests and their prevalence in crime.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) organised an amnesty which ran until 4 June 2010. The object was to allow as many of these imitations to be handed in as possible without fear of prosecution, regardless of whether they have been converted by criminals or remain unconverted for legitimate use.

Home Office guidance recommends to police that there should be an emphasis on creating an environment in which people hand in illegally held firearms, and the message should be for anyone holding such a firearm for them to hand the guns into police in a responsible manner.

The decision to ban this firearm, coupled with an amnesty, was initiated by ACPO with full support from BASC, The Gun Trade Association (GTA) and the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC) and it is evidence-led. These imitations have not just been used as a means to intimidate others, they have been used in crime in a converted state. We have to act to protect public safety.

Does this ban cover all blank firing imitations?

Naturally BASC members may be concerned that other imitations might be caught by this amnesty. However, the amnesty was been based on scientific analysis of the .380 calibre Olympic BBM imitation revolver and its prevalence in crime.

Will other types of blank firing imitation be banned in the future?

There are no current plans to deal with other types of blank firing imitations in this manner, but this does not mean that other blank firing imitations currently held by people remain legal.

Any imitation firearm capable of being readily converted, as defined by the 1982 Firearms Act, is illegal whether it has actually been converted or not. Imitations have been sold over many years in various different specifications and each case has to be looked at on its merits.

What about the Olympic 6 .22 calibre revolver?

The amnesty was complicated by the fact that the .380 calibre Olympic BBM revolver has a cousin in the format of the ‘Olympic 6’ .22 calibre revolver, which is very similar in looks to the .380 calibre version and is used by the vast majority of dog trainers in the UK.

The .22 BBM revolver variant was not subject to the amnesty. To tell the difference, the .380 calibre blank is a centrefire cartridge and the revolver holds five shots. The .22 is rimfire ignition and holds six shots.

What does the Olympic .380 revolver look like?

A Olympic .380 revolver

Please note that these photographs are for illustrative purposes only.

Since the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, these guns are sold in Orange and possibly other colours prescribed by VCR Act regulations.

The Amnesty applies to all variants regardless of colouring.

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© BASC July 2023