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Dispose of your unwanted guns anonymously – national firearms surrender campaign

PUBLISHED: 17:49 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:58 14 November 2017

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Dispose of your unwanted guns anonymously during the national firearms surrender campaign, but be careful you’re not giving away a legally held, valuable firearm!

BASC is urging members to be aware of the unexpected value of unwanted guns ahead of the start of a national firearms surrender campaign.

The campaign (November 13-26) asks people to hand in unwanted guns and ammunition at designated police stations. Those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession and can remain anonymous.

But Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms and a regular valuation expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, advises members not to hand over guns without first checking their financial or historical value.

Mr Harriman said: “BASC applauds any initiative that stops guns falling into the hands of criminals, but our advice is to first be certain you are not giving away a valuable antique firearm.

“All too often I see pictures of police officers with surrendered firearms that may be legally owned and which are valuable.

“The police will say that the Museums Weapons Group looks over all surrendered firearms and retains historically important ones for museum use.

“That is of little consolation to someone who has been encouraged into giving up their lawfully-owned valuable property.

“BASC’s firearms team is always happy to advise members in confidence and a mobile phone photo is often enough for us to make a positive identification.”

The surrender initiative is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).

Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton, head of NABIS, said: “Surrendering unwanted or illegal firearms avoids the risk of them becoming involved in crime and means that they can be disposed of in a safe manner.”

SURREY POLICE PRESS RELEASE

People in possession of unwanted guns or ammunition are being encouraged to hand them in as part of a campaign to make Surrey and Sussex safer places.

Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality, or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.

This appeal gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition by simply handing them in at their local police station without repercussion.

The surrender, which runs from Monday, 13 November to Sunday, 26 November, forms part of a national campaign by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).

The aim of the operation, supported by Surrey and Sussex Police, is to reduce the number of illegally held firearms in circulation which could fall into the hands of criminals. This includes replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, antique guns, component parts and other ballistic items.

Sussex Police Detective Chief Inspector Steve Rayland said: “If you have any guns or ammunition you no longer want, or if you don’t know what to do with them or how to safely dispose of them, we can help. By surrendering your weapons now, it will prevent them falling into the hands of criminals and endangering the public.

“We recognise that firearms or replica weapons in the wrong hands can assist in the commission of serious offences, can increase community fears, can result in a significant drain on police resources responding to incidents, and can present a potential risk to armed officers confronting an individual in possession of a weapon they believe to be real.

“While crimes involving firearms in both Surrey and Sussex are extremely rare, we understand that every weapon poses a potential threat if not licensed and stored safely. That’s why we’re offering people this opportunity to safely hand in their unwanted weapons which, if in the wrong hands, could be deadly.

“During the surrender we want people to hand in illegally-held guns and ammunition, imitation firearms and air guns used for criminal purposes, other unwanted guns and ammunition including air guns and imitations, and firearms you are being asked to hide for someone else. If you have a gun that falls into any of these categories, now is your chance to hand it in.”

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