More Than 30 Firearms Collected By Wiltshire Police

14th September 2015

More than 30 firearms have been collected by Wiltshire Police so far during an on-going firearms surrender.Items collected include five shotguns, two handguns, four air rifles, seven air pistols, three rifles, two 45 revolvers and one antique firearm. Ammunition has also been collected with some of the firearms.

The force is half way through a two week surrender, which runs until 9pm on Sunday 20 September, and is appealing for people to hand over unlicensed or unwanted firearms and ammunition.

Inspector Steve McGrath said: "At this mid way point we are pleased with the number of firearms that have been handed in so far. The reaction from several people has been one of relief to get rid of firearms as they have had them in attics for years and not known the best way to safely get rid of them.

"We have also been contacted by licensed firearms owners who no longer have a use for them. For example one licensed 12 bore (and accompanying licence) have been collected from a gentleman who had decided he no longer wanted to shoot.

"Wiltshire is a safe county in which to live and gun crime in the UK has continued to fall year on year for the last ten years. We are not complacent about gun crime however, which is why we are running this surrender as we want as many firearms as possible to be collected and removed from our communities."
Firearms legislation changed last July and many firearms may be held in innocence of their illegality or may be overlooked or forgotten in people's homes.

The laws around antique firearms were tightened which mean that someone who has served or received a criminal sentence can no longer possess an antique firearm. The sentencing guidelines for possession for sale or transfer of an unauthorised firearm or ammunition were also raised and this offence now carries a maximum penalty of life.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, said: "I would like to applaud Wiltshire Police for this welcome initiative, and the people who have come forward so far to surrender unlicensed or unwanted firearms.

"Every weapon handed in helps to makes our county that bit safer by removing the risk of the firearms getting into the wrong hands or being accidentally fired.

"I am pleased at the response so far and hope that anyone else who has such a firearm will call Wiltshire Police and arrange for collection.

"Wiltshire is one of the safest counties in the country and this campaign will help to keep it that way."

To surrender a firearm, people need to call Wiltshire Police on 101. An appointment will then be made so that the firearm can be collected from the property.

Dedicated units will be on hand until 9pm on Sunday 20 September to collect surrendered firearms and appointments will be made at the earliest opportunity.

Wiltshire Police is committed to robustly investigating serious crime and protecting the public. The firearms surrender removes guns from the streets, but does not prevent the police from investigating the background to any of the firearms handed in. Where there is evidence to follow up a prosecution the police will continue to do so.The surrender does not provide immunity from prosecution for the life of a firearm. This surrender is intended to provide an amnesty for possession of the firearm at the point of surrender/handover to a lawful authority.

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms activity call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Every call to Crimestoppers is anonymous and potentially vital to preventing or solving serious crimes; removing an illegally held firearm may just save someone's life.

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