BY RAFAEL SANCHEZ-BAYO
Police have recorded 394 incidents involving replica firearms over the past five years, 90 of those involving violence.
Fake firearms have been used in 42 armed robberies across NSW in the same time period and continue to be sold without any restrictions due to a gap in gun laws.
Fairfax Media reported there has been a 10 per cent surge in gun ownership across the state, bringing the total number of legally registered guns to 850,636.
South Western and Western Sydney have recorded some of the highest rises in gun ownership with 4689 firearms registered in Liverpool, 4505 in Chester Hill and 4442 in Horsley Park.
Greens MP David Shoebridge stated that replica firearms were just as intimidating as real ones and should be banned in toy stores.
Deputy Premier and police minister Troy Grant said anyone who used a fake gun to commit a crime will face criminal charges.
In March, police arrested a man who allegedly brandished a replica gun while carrying out an armed robbery near the Lindt Café in Martin Place, the same place where the horrific Sydney siege took place.