What counts as gun crime?
Gun crime can cover any crime that involves the use of a gun, including an imitation gun.
- where a victim was shot
- any situation where a gun was fired illegally, whether anyone was injured or not
- a robbery or burglary where the thieves carried a gun
- intimidating people with a gun, real or imitation
- carrying an unlicensed gun
Generally speaking, you must have a licence from the PSNI before you can buy or handle a firearm including air guns (except for very low powered ones). To tackle the problem of gun-related crime, sentences for people convicted of crimes involving guns have been made a lot tougher.
It is illegal to sell an imitation firearm to someone under 18 and for a person under 18 to buy one. It is illegal to carry firearms and imitation firearms in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.
What can you do?
If you have information about gun crime in your area and you're nervous about going to the police, you should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They will never ask for your name or try to trace the number that you're calling from.