From Devon & Cornwall Police:
Devon & Cornwall Police is appealing for people to hand in unwanted guns and ammunition during a national two week surrender period from 20 July to 4 August 2019.
The public is advised to check carefully the opening times of participating police enquiry offices in Devon and Cornwall before transporting any items.
Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Examples of this are shotguns or rifles for which the licence has expired or perhaps handguns brought back into the country from the First and Second World War, or other items acquired as collectables.
The surrender, organised by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NaBIS), gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition by simply taking them to a participating local police station and handing them over anonymously at the point of surrender. All fireams will be examined for evidence of criminality.
Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place. It is important to remember that in past surrenders the majority of items surrendered were not in circulation for criminal use, and this surrender period removes the possibility that they could be acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate local communities.
During that period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.
Michelle Mounsey, “Firearms and Explosives Licensing Manager for the Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance said: “We want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to hand them in.
“If you know where a weapon is being kept illegally, now is your chance to give up the gun, or tell us anonymously where it is. You will not be prosecuted and you could save a life.
“One weapon taken out of potential circulation is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities.”
Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at any participating police station but anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the surrender is advised to check the opening times of their station. Weapons or ammunition should definitely not be left outside a police station if it is closed.
Police would also be keen for people to hand in any replica guns, airsoft guns, BB guns and anything that looks like the real thing and about which they are having second thoughts, as these can be used to threaten and intimidate too.
The public should also be aware that electrical stun weapons – the police use a version of these called a Taser – can be acquired in other countries or online but are illegal in the UK. They would like you to hand those in as well.
Any member of the public surrendering a firearm will be doing so in the knowledge that it will be completely destroyed first by being cut into unusable pieces, with metal pieces eventually being recycled. A handful of unusual items may be retained by police force armourers under secure conditions for future training and reference purposes. Nothing will be sold on and nor will the original holders be given any payment.
At the end of the last firearms surrender in November 2017, 569 firearms of various types and over 20,000 rounds of ammunition had been handed in to Devon and Cornwall Police.
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly said: “Because of Devon and Cornwall’s rural nature there are more people with firearms certificates here* than there are in any other force area in England and Wales, and yet in terms of crime, the force area is one of the safest.
“I’d urge anyone who may have an unlicensed firearm to use this amnesty to get rid of it so they can be safe in the knowledge that it will never be used in a crime.”
(*Firearms and shotgun certificates in England and Wales )
If you know of people in possession of or involved in illegal firearms email Devon & Cornwall Police at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
All ten police enquiry offices in Devon and Cornwall are taking part in the surrender and the public are advised to check locations and opening times on the force website here: www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/contact/police-enquiry-offices
If anyone is at all uncertain about transporting firearms or ammunition, they should email the force for advice.
Exeter: 8am – 6pm Monday to Saturday – Not open S
Barnstaple: 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Not open Saturdays and Sundays. Closed for meal breaks 1.15pm – 2pm
Bodmin: 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Not open Saturdays and Sundays. Closed for meal breaks 1.15pm – 2pm
St Austell: 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Not open Saturdays and Sundays. Closed for meal breaks 1.15pm – 2pm
Truro: 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Not open Saturdays and Sundays. Closed for meal breaks 1.15pm – 2pm