This summer Avon and Somerset Police are again joining police forces across the country taking in illegal and unwanted firearms and ammunition.
From Saturday 20 July until Sunday 4 August you can hand in guns, ammunition, stun guns and pepper spray at five designated stations:
Under the scheme you won’t have to give your name, and even if you hand in an illegal item you won’t be prosecuted for having it. However, guns and ammunition will be examined by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS). Any crime identified will be investigated.
Any evidence of crime will be kept. Unusual items may go into the NABIS reference collection or be given to museums. Everything else will be destroyed.
During our last firearms surrender, in November 2017, 313 guns were handed in to us – and kept out of criminal hands. This included rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers, flare guns, starter pistols, air rifles, BB guns and a stun gun.
Why hand in firearms?
Chief Inspector John Holt said,
“Every weapon handed in helps to make our communities safer. Even lawfully-held or licensed firearms can be used to cause harm or fear in our communities if they fall into criminal hands. This fortnight is your chance to give up an illegal gun, or tell us where one is, without giving your name. Every weapon or piece of ammunition taken off the streets could save a life.”
Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan, National Police Chief’s Council lead for criminal use of firearms, added,
“We also want to highlight that stun guns and similar devices are illegal in the UK. They may not be brought in from abroad. They may be legal in some other countries but if you are caught with one here you could be prosecuted with possession of a firearm and be put behind bars. Those people in the UK who order illegal guns or component parts using internet sales sites will also be targeted. If you have ordered items from abroad, hand them in before we come knocking at your door.”
Illegal possession of a firearm can mean five years behind bars. Possession with intent to supply can lead to a life sentence.
If you have information about an illegally-held weapon, but don’t want to talk to them, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.