Baldev Sangha pleaded guilty to an offense usually punishable by at least five years in prison. But the judge heard that the 44-year-old father-of-three knew nothing about guns and treated the gun like a toy after he bought it at a sale in Shareshill.
The .22 gas pistol was found in a drawer when police attended his home in Compton Road, Chapel Ash, on an unrelated matter.
This type of weapon can be converted to fire live ammunition and was classified as a prohibited weapon in 2004, two years after Sangha’s purchase, Wolverhampton Crown Court said yesterday.
No attempt had been made to adapt it. Sangha, an electrician and gas installer, paid Â£ 120 for the pistol and three other firearms with 28 9mm rounds which could not be fired by any of them.
He told the audience: âI was told they were replicas. I just wanted to display them. I wanted a boys room in our old house with a pool table, dart board and a table football.
“I needed something to put up on the walls as trinkets.”
Mr Graham Henson, defending, said: “We are dealing with a half-soaked, silly man who behaved like a big kid buying what he thought were replica guns so he could playing with it like toys. It is a crime committed out of ignorance. “
Sangha pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm and possession of ammunition without a certificate.
He was sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for two years with 100 hours of unpaid work and Â£ 800 in costs.