A teenager has appeared before magistrates on a firearms charge after security services in the USA intercepted an order for a .38 calibre Smith and Wesson pistol.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard the weapon was seized and a fake put in its place before the parcel, containing surveillance equipment, was forwarded to an address in Alden Close, Helmshore.

Police seized the fake gun along with the phone used to order it.

Marco Roberto Gill, 18, of Alden Close, appeared in court charged with attempting to possess a .38 revolver.

He was sent in custody to Burnley Crown Court where he will appear next on May 11.

Some firearms and shotguns may be held on a firearm or shotgun certificate issued by the police.

Permission to possess, purchase or acquire a firearm will only be granted to an individual who is assessed by the licensing authority, the police, as not posing a threat to public safety and having good reason to own the firearm.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate to the police that they require their firearm on a regular, legitimate basis for work, sport or leisure (including collections or research).

Chief officers are able to exercise discretion over what constitutes a good reason, judging each case on its own merits.