You will have to start a running race by shouting ‘bang’. The EU wants to force member states to ban or license blank firing pistols.

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the EU’s reaction is to clamp down a on the legal use of blank firing pistols. It points to the increasing use of converted blank firers in crime. From 2003 to 2008, 21 per cent of firearms recovered by UK police from crime scenes were recorded as converted replicas.

Converted weapons also appear in other European countries. In Germany, for several years, the majority (68.5 per cent in 2012, and 69.6 per cent in 2013) of firearms seized during crimes were converted blank-firing firearms. In May 2014, about 40 per cent of all firearms seized in the Netherlands were converted or believed to be slated for conversion. In Sweden, it is believed that between 20 and 40 per cent of public shootings are carried out with converted pistols.

EU bans or licenses blank-firing pistols