The Guardia Civil and National Police have arrested four people in Torrevieja and Guardamar for allegedly possessing illegal weapons after they bought online 45 starter pistols in order to turn them into real firearms.
These replicas looked identical to real pistols and could be modified to fire live ammunition and are therefore illegal.
The person who bought them all had a criminal record for belonging to radical groups, murder, illegal possession of weapons/ammunition/explosives, threats, injuries and robberies. For this reason the authorities started investigating to see if the weapons were going to be used to commit violent crimes.
The enquiries centred on his family and friends, all of whom had police records for various incidents and were based in Guardamar and Torrevieja, where they were in frequent contact with each others.
The officers realised that the suspects routinely used weapons to settle scores and make threats, and other people asked them for replica weapons that had been converted to fire real ammunition.
When the police realised in November that these people could pose a real danger to public safety by having so many of these replica weapons which could be modified, officers searched three homes in Torrevieja and Guardamar.
They arrested four Spanish people aged between 31 and 52 and seized 45 starter pistols and air rifles, 133 cartridges of real ammunition, 275 blanks, tools for modifying the guns and masks typically used in armed robberies.
The National Police and Guardia Civil reminded that the law was changed in October to prohibit possession of pistols that fire blanks for any purpose other than what they were designed for: sport, dog training, public shows, recreational activities, movies and plays, and collecting.