Staffordshire Police is appealing for the public to hand over any unwanted firearms as part of a national two week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting on Saturday 20 July 2019.
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 threaten or harm their local communities. The surrender gives the opportunity to dispose of a firearm or ammunition by simply taking it to a local designated police station and handing it in.
The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) co-ordinated the last national firearms surrender which took place in November 2017 and was deemed a big success with thousands of potentially lethal items prevented from getting into criminal hands.
This summer’s campaign has a particular focus on firearms, stun gun type devices and pepper sprays. Police want to highlight the danger of these items and remind people they are illegal in this country and could lead to a prison sentence for anyone caught in possession.
Assistant Chief Constable at Staffordshire Police, Emma Barnett said: “We are keen to get as many people as possible to hand in unwanted firearms and ammunition – every weapon off the street is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities. The three front counters at Cannock, Burton and Longton police stations will receive any surrendered firearms between 9-5pm, Monday-Friday. During these hours there will also be officers assigned to collect any firearms that people have reported for surrender. Outside of these hours people wanting to surrender firearms, or those who are unable or unwilling to travel to police stations, will be able to contact us via 101 or through the Digital 101 service for an officer to arrange collection.”
During the last surrender, over 300 firearms were handed in across Staffordshire, over the campaign period, those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession – at the point of surrender – and can remain anonymous if they choose to.