Two-week Window to Surrender Your Guns

By on Monday, November 10, 2014

illegal_firearmsMerseyside Police have announced a two-week illegal firearms surrender.

Under recent changes in the law, anyone previously convicted of possessing firearms or ammunition, who has served between three months and three years, is banned from possessing antique firearms for five years. Anyone who has served more than three years for firearms offences is prohibited permanently.

But police are now giving people a chance to hand in their guns without facing prosecution for possession.

As this is a surrender, rather than an amnesty, police will still investigate the weapon’s history and use, and immunity applies only to the person handing over the gun for possession at the time of the handover.

Any offences involving the gun, including illegal possession by others, are still liable to investigation and prosecution.

“Merseyside Police is relentless in its approach to tackling gun crime, and last year we proactively took nearly 200 guns off our streets thanks to information we received from our communities,” said Detective Superintendent Mike Shaw, from the Matrix Serious Organised Crime Team.

“Some people may also have replica and decommissioned firearms in their homes because they have inherited them, or have a genuine interest in collecting military weapons and paraphernalia.

“These weapons could be targeted by those involved in serious and organised crime who may see the opportunities of converting and using them in criminality.

“So if you do own any weapons like this, think long and hard about the potential consequences. In the wrong hands, these guns can be reactivated and used to cause fear and intimidation, or even worse could be used to seriously injure, or kill, someone.

“Every gun surrendered is one less that can be used by criminals to commit serious offences.”

Weapons can be surrendered at the following police stations over the next two weeks (Friday 7-Friday 21 November):

  • Birkenhead Police Station
  • Marsh Lane, Bootle (8am-10pm)
  • Lathom Road, Huyton
  • College Street, St Helens
  • St Anne Street, Islington
  • Admiral Street, Toxteth

If you have a firearm but can’t go to a police station, you can call 101 and advise the operator you want to surrender a weapon as part of Operation Gresty.

Detective Superintendent Shaw added: “Last year the number of firearms discharges across Merseyside decreased by 41 per cent, but we aren’t complacent in our fight against gun crime and we would urge you to help us make our streets safer.

“We would also like to reassure legitimate firearms licence-holders that these measures will enhance their rights and privileges to own firearms, by removing illegally held firearms from the wrong hands. Licence holders are also encouraged to use this opportunity to consider the surrender of weapons they may no longer have a use for.”

Members of the public who have any information about those involved in gun crime, or who know where weapons are being stored, are urged to contact the Matrix Serious Organised Crime Team on 0800 230 0600.

Alternatively people can call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Merseyside Police will act on all information provided in relation to gun crime.

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