Posted on 08:36:00 on 17th July 2019
Cumbria Constabulary are to hold a county-wide firearms surrender for members of the public to hand in any unlawfully held or unwanted firearms and ammunition.
The Constabulary is joining other forces across the UK in holding a firearms surrender in order to prevent them getting into the wrong hands. The surrender will take place between the 20th July and 4th August 2019.
Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Some are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.
The surrender gives a chance to dispose firearms or ammunition safely by taking it to a police station and handing it in.
Members of the public can also surrender items that have the potential to be converted such as antique guns, blank firing replicas and imitations.
During that period, those handing over weapons will not face prosecution for the illegal possession, at the point of surrender, and can remain anonymous.
Illegal possession of a firearm can mean five years behind bars and if you are found guilty of possession with intent to supply that can lead to a life sentence.
The surrender is being coordinated by the National Ballistic Intelligence Service (NABIS) who offer forensic, tactical and strategic intelligence to tackle all aspects of firearms related crime.
Chief Inspector Andrew Wilkinson said:
"This surrender provides an opportunity to those who possess firearms, ammunition and other weapons to hand these into police.
“The last surrender of weapons in this county was in November 2017 where over 190 weapons were handed in. This highlights the importance that our communities place on the issue of illegal possession of weapons.
"Every weapon that is handed into police is one less in circulation that could fall into the wrong hands. The potential disastrous consequences of these weapons underline the need for those who do not want them to hand them in.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said:
“The use of weapons in crime can have devastating effects on people’s lives – both for victims, perpetrators, their families and the wider community.
I am, therefore, very supportive of this campaign because every weapon that is surrendered will potentially save someone from being attacked or even killed.
I would urge the public to hand over any weapons they may possess, which can be done anonymously, as this will decrease the risk of weapons being used in a criminal manner and keep the public safer which is our key priority.”
The stations where you can hand your weapons in are:
• Carlisle (Durranhill)
• Penrith (Hunter Lane)
Anyone wishing to hand in weapons should put them in a box or strong bag and put ammunition in a separate box or bag. Never attempt to take an uncovered weapon out in public. Members of the public are also advised to go directly to a designated station when handing in a weapon.
To check on opening times please visit: https://www.cumbria.police.uk/Contact-us/Police-Stations/Police-Stations.aspx.
Authorised firearms officers will be available to collect firearms from those who are unable to attend a police station. For further details in arranging the collection of your firearm or ammunition please contact police on 101.
If you have a specific enquiry relating to firearms licensing please visit: https://www.cumbria.police.uk/Apply-For-It/Firearms/Firearms-Information-and-Guidance.aspx.