Amnesty invites public to give up their guns

Supt Jon Puttock shows some of the guns seized off Lancashire's streets ahead of a weapon amnesty.

Supt Jon Puttock shows some of the guns seized off Lancashire's streets ahead of a weapon amnesty.

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Guns and ammunition can be handed in to police as part of a week-long amnesty which ends next Monday.

It’s been nine years since police last asked members of the public to surrender unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to help prevent them getting into the wrong hands.

The surrender, in response to a law change in July, is codenamed Operation Holster and will allow owners of antique or unwanted firearms to hand them over without fear of prosecution.

Many firearms may be held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or may be overlooked or forgotten in people’s homes. This gives holders the chance to dispose of the firearm and ammunition safely by handing it in at a police station.

Superintendent Jon Puttock said: “Police officers are called to attend reports of people seen in public places with firearms on a regular basis.

“Despite the fact that firearms and imitation firearms are often handed into Lancashire Police there are still unlawfully held firearms in the county; be it trophy or antique weapons such as from military conflict, or firearms which people have acquired from a relative.”

Throughout the week, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession and, if they wish, can remain anonymous.

However, the history of each live weapon will be checked for evidence of its use in crimes. Anyone wishing to hand-in firearms should disarm them and put them in a box or strong bag, putting ammunition in a separate box/bag.

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