A week-long gun amnesty run by Lincolnshire Police in an effort to make the county’s streets safer has resulted in 117 weapons being handed in.
Police have revealed that the amnesty which ran from July 3-10 saw 117 weapons handed in (including some at unofficial collection points), mainly air weapons and shotguns but also two revolvers, lots of ammunition and some Second World War munitions, including a hand grenade and one shell which had to be dealt with by the Bomb Disposal Squad.
Supt Phil Vickers says: “The number of weapons handed in during the course of the week has been more than expected, but the real success of the amnesty is reflected in the types of weapons surrendered.
“Alongside numerous air weapons, there have been a number of shotguns and two revolvers. Not all of these were held with the correct certification increasing the risk of them ending up in the wrong hands”.
Residents had been invited to hand in their unlicensed or unwanted firearms, ammunition, war memorabilia and imitation weapons.
Supt Vickers said they were using the week as a reminder for people to check that they still have the legal right to own such weapons.
“One less firearm means one less opportunity for tragedy. The potential for the weapon to cause accidental injury, to fall into the wrong hands or be used in a suicide is removed,” he said.
The last firearms surrender in 2014 proved successful with 132 weapons handed in - many of these to be shotguns for which a licence was not held, or had expired.
Supt Vickers said: “The vast majority of licence holders in our county treat this huge responsibility with the required importance. However, there may be people who don’t want this responsibility anymore, whose licences have lapsed or, sadly, through the death of the licence holder, the weapons are no longer legally held. We can take this worry away for you.”
The surrender also included imitation and replica weapons. Supt Vickers explained: “The fear and intimidation they cause is real even if they are not.”
Did you know?
• By keeping an air weapon and not taking reasonable steps to prevent access to it by someone under 18 years old you could be committing an offence? [Section 24ZA Firearms Act 1968]
• By taking a firearm, air weapon or even an imitation firearm out in public you could be committing an imprisonable offence? [Section 19 Firearms Act 1968]
• If you have ever been sentenced to a term in prison of three months or more, or even a suspended sentence of this length, you may commit an offence by possessing any firearm, even if it is an antique! [Section 21 Firearms Act 1968]