A William Wallace impersonator has hit out at the “injustice” after police forced him to surrender his replica guns.
Adam Watters – who played the Scottish hero alongside Gary Lineker for a recent TV commercial – was also charged with firearms offences during the swoop.
Officers seized the replica weapons – so-called “blank- firers” – after a complaint about a “man with a blue face firing a gun” during a performance on the Royal Mile.
Mr Watters was detained by police in Edinburgh then taken to his home in Prestonpans, East Lothian, where he had to hand over the guns.
Now Mr Watters has decided to speak out over the allegations after being told by police he cannot work in schools while the charges are outstanding.
A court date has yet to be set for the case, but Mr Watters has vowed to battle the court action in a bid to continue his educational work and his role with the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust.
Despite the 44-year-old actor’s claims that the flintlock pistols and short muskets used in his historical re-enactments were harmless replicas, he has been charged with possessing guns without a licence.
Mr Watters said: “I just feel it is an injustice. It is like taking paint from a painter as these are the tools of my trade.
“They are all part of the theatre of what I do and what I have been doing for years. They are all part of an act that I have put my heart into to teach schoolchildren and build up my performance.”
The three replica guns taken by police have been used by the actor in dozens of schools across Scotland.
Mr Watters has also worked with the Clanranald Trust on stunts for a number of movies, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator and King Arthur, and claims to have documentation that will certify the weapons are blank-firers.
The actor also appeared in full Braveheart costume outside Edinburgh Castle for the introduction of last year’s Britain’s Got Talent show. And he appeared wearing the same outfit in a Walker’s Crisps advert with former England striker Gary Lineker last year.
Mr Watters said: “I don’t need a licence for them because they were never real guns – they are for use by actors and entertainers. They fire blanks and cannot be converted to fire projectiles.
“If they make me get a licence it opens up a whole can of worms for thousands of people across the world who use these blank-firers.”
Friends have now started up a Facebook petition page calling for his replica weapons to be returned.
Mr Watters was arrested in September following a complaint made while he was performing on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival the previous month.
A police spokesman said: “A 44-year-old man has been charged in connection with firearms offences and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.”