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Responsible ownership and use of firearms, air weapons, imitations and replica firearms will rarely cause anyone to fear for their safety or suffer harm. The regulation of real firearms contributes towards this.

Sometimes, though, it is not real firearms that are the problem – in fact most armed crime in Cumbria is found to have been committed using imitations or air weapons, and air weapons account for virtually all criminal damage caused with a firearm, the majority of prosecuted firearms offences, and virtually all reported third party injuries from firearms.

A firearm need not be real to cause someone fear or to feel threatened, in a robbery or dispute for example. Anything having the appearance of a firearm can cause fear, even if the person having it doesn’t realise. And all these can be problematic in the wrong hands.

Cumbria Constabulary take public safety and the irresponsible use of any firearm or imitation very seriously.

As well as all the crimes you might imagine can be committed with a firearm, 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?    [Section 24ZA Firearms Act 1968]
  • by taking a firearm, air weapon or even an imitation firearm out in public you could be committing an imprisonable offence?     [Section 19 Firearms Act 1968]
  • if you’ve 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!   [Section 21 Firearms Act 1968]

The safest way to avoid firearms, air weapons or imitations causing injury or fear is not to have them – if you have no need for them – GET RID!!!

Cumbria Constabulary accept unwanted firearms and ammunition all year round, and dispose of them free of charge – and this includes air weapons, crossbows, imitation and blank-firing replicas – in fact anything that looks like a firearm and could cause someone to fear for their safety.

Even outside so-called ‘amnesties’, Cumbria Constabulary will look favourably upon people voluntarily surrendering firearms whose possession would otherwise be unlawful – it will generally not be in the public interest to prosecute someone for acting responsibly by handing them in. This immunity from prosecution applies only to possession offences – no immunity can be guaranteed for other offences committed with the weapon.

You can hand-in unwanted firearms, air weapons or imitations at –

Workington Police Station                            Carlisle Police Station                     Barrow Police Station

Whitehaven Police Station                           Penrith Police Station                     Kendal Police Station

Check the website for opening times.

If you or someone else knows how, please ensure any firearm is unloaded prior to taking it to a police station, and be prepared to show a Police Officer that it is unloaded. If you are unsure someone at the police station will help you. Take any sights, slings and ancillary items from it that you want to keep, and always transport a firearm, air weapon or imitation in a case or properly covered.

If you are elderly, inform or without satisfactory transport, police will attend your home to recover a firearm – please get in touch using the non-emergency number.

You should contact police immediately if you know that someone else has a firearm illegally or are concerned 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.