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Gun dealers warned over Islamic State threat

An Islamic State magazine has suggested robbing UK gun shops.

The police have asked registered firearms dealers to be extra vigilant after an online magazine published by Islamic State advised would-be terrorists to acquire guns from gun shops by force.

A letter to dealers from Assistant Chief Constable Dave Orford, the National Police Chiefs Council lead for firearms licensing, stressed that no imminent threat is expected and dealers should be “alert, not alarmed”.

Terrorists stymied by UK’s strict gun controls

The article acknowledged obtaining a firearm in the UK is difficult due to our strict controls, but suggested breaking into stores or stealing keys from the owner. We have withheld the name of the Islamic State magazine as searching for it online could cause you inadvertently to commit an offence under the Terrorism Act.

Mr Orford advised dealers to be “conscious of those around you and of any suspicious behaviour or signs of hostile reconnaissance”.

“Signs could include people loitering who don’t appear to have a legitimate purpose, people taking an unusual or excessive interest in the layout of a building and taking photos or asking about business routines or practices,” he explained.

Contact the police in an emergency

Anyone with concerns is asked to contact the anti-terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321 or 999 in an emergency.

BASC firearms officer Paul Dale said: “BASC very much supports the advice provided by ACC Dave Orford and his team, which aims to ensure the shooting community and the wider public stay safe.

“The message from the police is very much about alerting people rather than causing alarm, and the police are right to highlight that the UK’s strict legislation and control are making it more difficult for those who wish to do us harm.

“BASC echoes the sentiment that dealers can play their part in keeping us all safe by being vigilant, employing the correct security procedures and by reporting suspicious activity.”