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Dunfermline film set worker faces sentence for owning illegal pistol and pepper spray

Christopher Nordstrom, blank-firing pistol
Christopher Nordstrom had a blank-firing pistol, similar to the one pictured.

A film industry worker who was caught with an illegal firearm told police he planned to use it at work.

Christopher Nordstrom told police he had bought the blank-firing pistol for £500 and it had been delivered by Royal Mail.

He said there were companies in England which provide such props to the industry but no similar business exists in Scotland.

The 45-year-old is self employed as a grip – a technician responsible for equipment which supports cameras.

Raided after National Crime Agency alert

Fiscal depute Alistair McDermid told Dunfermline Sheriff Court Nordstrom’s home was raided after his name appeared on a database of a dealer arrested in England.

He said: “On October 9, 2019 the National Crime Agency arrested a suspect in London who had purchased and imported a number of blank-firing forward venting handguns from a company in Spain.

“During interview the suspect disclosed he had sold a number of weapons and that his computer contained a spreadsheet where he had saved details of the various buyers.

“The accused’s name and address were on the spreadsheet.

“Information was sent to the National Crime Agency unit in Scotland who informed the police.”

He said detectives visited Nordstrom’s house the following day and spoke to his wife.

“She confirmed being aware that her husband was considering buying a replica gun for his work within the film industry.

“It was noted during the search that the accused’s home contained a large amount of items and props consistent with his employment.”

During the search officers found the blank firing pistol and a can of pepper spray.

Thought gun was legal

When interviewed by police Nordstrom confirmed he had bought the front venting Atak Arms Zoraki model 925 but believed it was legal.

In the UK imitation guns are legal if they vent from the top or side.

While legal in some parts of Europe, front venting replica weapons are outlawed in the UK as they are more easily converted by criminals to fire live rounds.

Mr McDermid continued: “He stated that blink-firing weapons are used on film sets where firearms are required and this service is provided by companies in England but not yet in Scotland.

“He said he paid £500 and the weapon was delivered by Royal Mail.

“He said he thought the weapon was top venting and not front venting.”

He said the American-made can of pepper spray was likely to have belonged to an ex-girlfriend and had become mixed up in his own property.

Nordstrom, of the Broomhead area of Dunfermline, admitted being in possession of a  gas alarm pistol and a canister of capsaicin – both prohibited weapons – at his home on October 10, 2019.

Sentence was deferred for reports.

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