More than 700 firearms have been seized in a five-year operation by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Spain’s Guardia Civil to prevent replica guns that can easily be converted into lethal weapons from entering Britain, the NCA said on Sunday (9 July).
The operation, which also involved international law enforcement and gun retailers, targeted forward-venting blank firearms (FVBF), which resemble guns such as Glocks.
The weapons are traded lawfully in some parts of mainland Europe but are illegal to possess or import into Britain.
Since 2019, the NCA and Guardia Civil – which has jurisdiction in Spain for the national control of firearms- have been jointly working on Project Vizardlike to combat the threat.
The operation has so far resulted in the seizure of 703 firearms, 74 arrests and 50 convictions, the NCA said.
Spain has recently enacted new legislation restricting the sale of the weapons, with customers now required to produce Spanish identity and police approval documentation prior to purchase, it said.
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