This was a tabloid paper fueled, short term solution for politicians to pander to growing public disgust at an increasing number of drug-gang related shootings in city areas. The use of these airguns in crime was blown way out of proportion and simply provided a convenient scapegoat.
The majority of ‘converted’ replica guns of Brocock type seized and used in crime consisted of merely the zinc frame, all other major componants having been replaced and engineered from steel to hold the pressures involved in firing a real cartridge. In the case of the largest bust on an illegal gun factory, entirely new cylinders for these improvised weapons were machined from steel using a lathe set up and a new steel 9mm barrel was manufactured. No doubt this operation would have produced firearms despite this particular replica gun’s legal availability.
Another ‘feel-good’ law that only effected the law abiding and simply provided a means for politicians to look ‘tough on gun crime’ .
(A typical Brocock ‘conversion’ – note: entirely new cylinder manufactured from steel)