GUNS will be taken off the streets of Warwickshire as a firearms amnesty gets underway today (Monday).
People can safely and anonymously dispose of guns and ammunition – including replica firearms, BB guns and antique weapons – by handing them in at Leamington and Rugby police stations during the Warwickshire Police amnesty running until Sunday November 26.
During the last surrender in 2014, 113 weapons were surrendered in Warwickshire – the vast majority of which were not being used for criminal use.
Illegal possession of a firearm can result in five years behind bars, or a life sentence if the owner is found guilty of possession with intent to supply.
Warwickshire Police Ch Insp Mark Colquhoun said: “Compared with other areas of the country we don’t have a significant gun problem, but we are keen to support this national campaign to help keep our communities safe. The whole aim is to remove any firearms that could potentially be used in a crime from public circulation.
“Our policing area has a large number of licensed firearms owners, and this is also an opportunity for them to hand in old weapons or guns they no longer require. The majority of the firearms handed in during the last surrender were older items that the owner no longer needed and wanted to safely dispose of.
“People may have older or historical weapons stored in lofts or garages which have been inherited or passed down through the family, and these can also be disposed of during the surrender.
“By participating in the surrender, people can be confident that items have been safely disposed of. Every firearm surrendered is one less weapon that can be used to commit crime.”
People surrendering firearms will not be required to leave any information, but guns will be examined for evidence if police suspect they have been involved in a crime. Anyone handing an item in is advised to call 101 and notify police of the time they will be attending.
All surrendered weapons will be destroyed or – in exceptional circumstances, if the weapon has historical value – it may be donated to a museum.
To report any concerns about the possession of firearms, call 101 or 999 in an emergency.