Kiwi-Indian liquor storeowner's widow calls for ban on imitation firearms

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Auckland, Mar. 21 (ANI): The widow of Indian-origin south Auckland liquor store-owner Navtej Singh has called for a ban on the sale of fake firearms following a shop assistant being held at gunpoint on Saturday.

Two men believed to be in their teens used a pistol in a daylight robbery before physically assaulting the young woman.

The pistol is believed to be an airgun although police do not know for sure.

"BB guns are actually similar to real guns so they should not be sold so freely. Police should have the power to stop people from buying these guns," The New Zealand Herald quoted Harjinder Kaur, as saying.

"I mean, not only are families feeling helpless in this country but the police are helpless, too. People say police shouldn't carry guns - but how can they protect themselves?" she added.

Singh was shot and killed with a .22 rifle in an armed robbery at his store in Manurewa. One of the six robbers was found guilty of murder.

Green Party MP Keith Locke seconded Kaur by saying that pressure needed to be placed on those who imported and sold the imitation weapons before a serious injury occurred.

"There are a number of problems around, there's the problem of the police mistaking the gun for a real one and somebody could get hurt," he said.

The robbery was one of a series of violent incidents at shops in the area in the past few weeks. (ANI)

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