A man was spotted walking around Clitheroe Castle Playground with a suspected air weapon on Tuesday afternoon (May 3).
Officers from Rural Taskforce and Immediate Response attended the scene and quickly located the man in the Bawdlands area.
The air weapon was subsequently recovered and the man was arrested.
He remained in police custody for questioning on Tuesday evening.
An air weapon differs from a conventional firearm by the fact that it, and the pellets discharged, do not contain any explosive substance.
When the trigger is pulled the pellets are forced from the barrel by the discharge of compressed air or other gas.
Most air weapons are of such limited power that they do not require to be licensed, however there are exceptions to this rule.
The Firearms (Dangerous Air Weapons) Rules 1969 require that certain air weapons can only be held legally on a firearm certificate.
It is possible to measure the velocity of pellets, discharged from an air weapon, by the use of an electronic chronograph.
From these measurements the kinetic energy of the pellet at the muzzle can be calculated.
Air weapons deemed especially dangerous have a muzzle energy in excess of:
- In the case of an air pistol: 6 ft/lbs (8-13 Joules)
- In the case of an air weapon other than an air pistol: 12 ft/lbs (16-27 Joules)(and metric equivalents)
Such weapons are classified as Section 1 firearms and are required to be held on a firearm certificate. These weapons are subject to all the controls and regulations pertaining to Section 1 firearms, although the "ammunition" (pellets) is not.
These rules do not apply to an air weapon designed for use only when submerged in water, e.g. harpoon gun.