Police in Northamptonshire insist “ignorance is not an excuse” as they join a national firearms surrender starting Thursday (May 12).
Coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service, the campaign runs until May 29 aiming to stop firearms falling into the pool of weapons used by criminals.
Inspector Colin Newport said: “We are supporting this national surrender as part of our commitment to taking as many dangerous weapons off our streets as possible.
“Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality, or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Some are held legally and are no longer required.
"Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.
“The surrender gives people the chance to safely dispose of firearms or ammunition by having us discreetly come and collect them from their homes.
“We want more firearms out of circulation to help us better protect people from harm in Northamptonshire. Handing in a firearm could save a life, so I would ask you to do the right thing and surrender your weapon.”
Firearms crime remains low nationally but serious incidents still take place involving guns. In addition, law changes mean it is no longer legal to own specific firearms without a license, if at all in some cases.
As such a surrender period has been arranged to allow people to hand in unwanted or illegal firearms and ammunition to the police including:
■ illegally-held guns and ammunition
■ imitation firearms and air guns
■ Other unwanted guns and ammunition including air guns and imitations
■ Tasers, stun guns, CS gas, etc.
■ Firearms you may have been asked to hide for someone else
During the last national firearms surrender three years ago, 43 items were handed in to Northamptonshire Police included shotguns, a samurai sword, numerous realistic replica firearms and BB guns.
Police promise anonymity and freedom from prosecution for those handing over firearms by May 29.
Firearms and ammunition can be given up by calling Northamptonshire Police for a collection appointment.