Lincolnshire Police are giving the people of the county the chance to hand in their unlicensed or unwanted firearms.
Residents can surrender into ‘safer hands’ their unlicensed or unwanted firearms, ammunition, war memorabilia and imitation weapons between July 3 and 10, 2017.
The police say the surrender period will serve as a reminder and an opportunity for people to ‘relieve their homes and their consciences’ of unlicensed and unwanted weapons.
Temporary Superintendent Phil Vickers said: “This is a chance for people to really think about whether they want to hold on to their weapons, and as a reminder to check that they still have the legal right to do so.
“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.”
The last firearms surrender in 2014 proved successful with 132 weapons handed in. Many of these were shotguns for which a licence was not held or had expired.
Temporary Supt Vickers added: “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.”
Imitation and replica weapons can also be surrendered. Temporary Supt Vickers explained: “The fear and intimidation they cause is real even if they are not. Anything that looks like a firearm will be accepted as part of the surrender week.”
The public should contact police immediately if it is known that someone else has a firearm illegally or there is concern about someone in possession of any firearm, even if they have a licence.
In an emergency dial 999, and if you don’t want to give your name you can ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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.
By taking a firearm, air weapon or even an imitation firearm out in public you could be committing an imprisonable offence.
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!
How to hand in your weapon
You can take your item to any police station providing it is packaged and bagged safely and appropriately. Check our website for opening times. There is no need to call ahead unless you have queries or concerns about your weapon or the process of handing it in.
If you are elderly, infirm or without transport, police will attend your home. Call 101.
Do not attempt to bring items that might be unstable, e.g. a hand grenade. Call 101 for advice.