A TOBACCONIST has defended the sale of replica firearms despite being the store to have sold a fake gun to a suspected armed robber.
CCTV footage shows a man purchasing a replica gun from the Tobacco Station at Sugarland Shoppingtown on February 8.
Two hours later, an adult shop on Walker St was held-up with a similar looking weapon, and then later a convenience store was also robbed.
But shop owner Gary Sellin said in the 10 years his store had been selling the replicas, this was the first time a sale from his store had been linked to robbery.
"There's no way any of the guns I sell could be made into a real firearm," he said.
Mr Sellin said John Wayne and Ned Kelly replicas, along with some United States Police revolvers were popular among collectors, ranging anywhere from $35-$450.
"Some of the Ned Kelly replicas are worth thousands of dollars," he said.
"All the guns I sell are approved by Queensland laws.
"They are cap guns and (the police revolvers) are not full size."
While he agreed it was alarming that there had been seven armed hold-ups in the Bundaberg region in two weeks, Mr Sellin pointed out that knives had also been used during these incidents.
"You can buy knives at any fishing shop and no one would have a clue who they were," he said.
"Not to mention the kitchen drawer.
"It just happens to be that a guy bought one off me that looks like the gun used in a robbery."
Mr Sellin said replica firearms could be purchased from most gift shops in Queensland, the only condition being the buyer must be over the age of 18.
"I'm a tobacconist and gift shop and they are a gift line," he said.
"If they don't buy them off me, they'll buy them from someone else."
Mr Sellin said he would now be reviewing the purchasing procedure in light of the robberies.
Anyone with information on the crimes should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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