Thames Valley Police Due To Begin Firearms Surrender

21st November 2014

Thames Valley Police is launching a forcewide firearms and ammunition surrender across its Force area, to reduce the number of illegally held weapons in circulation.

The period of surrender starts at 8am on Monday 24 November until 10pm on Sunday 7 December, inclusive.

During this period, unlicensed guns, bullets and old or antique firearms can be handed in to police, without facing prosecution for illegal possession of the weapons.

The maximum jail term for possessing an illegal gun recently (July 2014) increased from ten years to life.

Leading the campaign, Ch Insp Lindsay James said: "The aim of the two week firearms surrender is to stop guns getting into the wrong hands. Every gun given up is one less that criminals can use.

"Licence holders can be reassured that these measures merely enhance their rights and privileges to own firearms, by removing illegal ones. Licence holders are also encouraged to use this amnesty to consider the surrender of weapons they no longer have a use for. It can also be used to get rid of firearms left by a family member who has died.

"Although year on year crime figures show that firearm crime has reduced in Thames Valley in the last three years, authorities believe that the change in legislation which came into effect on 14 July means a number of firearms will be held by people in innocence and ignorance of their illegality.

"It is important to emphasise that guns suspected to have previously been used in crimes, will be investigated."

Weapons handed in to front counters will be forensically examined and information sent to National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) where appropriate.

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