Humans are an innovative and industrious species. No other creatures on this planet do what we do. Even those that build things don’t do so on a scale even close to us. It’s really quite impressive.
The other side of that coin, though, is that we’re also quite good at doing what we want in spite of the rules if we were so inclined. That’s why rules, or laws, need to focus on punishing behaviors rather than preventing them. A prime example is a UK man who was just sentenced for making firearms.
A Walsall man who converted imported blank-firing guns into lethal weapons has had his jail term doubled.
Robert Bartell bought blank-firing pistols from abroad and converted some into serviceable guns in his shed before test-firing them in his garden.
The stash of guns – including self-loading pistols – were manufactured in Turkey and Italy, and bought from a Spanish website.
Cops raided the 54-year-old’s home in Cambridge Street on November 28 last year after police intelligence suggested he was importing blank-firers.
Officers discovered six handguns, including some which he had converted to fire live rounds in his shed workshop using a table drill and disc cutter, plus 23 adapted 9mm blank rounds retro-fitted with ball bearings or lead shots.
Blank-firing weapons can be sold legally in mainland Europe but are illegal to sell and possess in the UK.
Along with the guns, police also uncovered lengths of steel tubing, a 5kg bag of lead shot and damaged books which the 54-year-old had used as targets to test-fire the weapons.