South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright has urged parents to think twice before buying BB and pellet guns as presents for their children.
The warning comes after a number of incidents reported nationally of young people carrying imitation guns in public.
Mr Wright said: “If you have a replica gun such as a BB gun, pellet gun or air rifle then you are more likely to harm yourself or someone else.”
“BB guns, pellet guns and air rifles are imitation firearms and it is illegal for them to be carried in a public place.”
“If misused they can cause serious or fatal injuries, furthermore, if the police receive reports from members of public of someone, young or old, carrying what looks like to be a gun, this will result in armed officers being deployed.”