FAQs - firearms surrender


Questions

  1. How long will the surrender campaign last?
  2. What is the main purpose of the firearms surrender?
  3. How effective are these campaigns for targeting real criminals?
  4. What items do you think will be handed in?
  5. What is the difference between an amnesty and a gun surrender?
  6. What will happen to all the guns handed in?
  7. If gun crime levels have been falling why do we need surrender campaigns?

Answers

Question 1: How long will the surrender campaign last?

Answer: Between 20 July and 4 August this year (2019).  

Question 2: What is the main purpose of the firearms surrender?

Answer: To reduce the volume of guns in circulation which could get into the hands of criminals. A surrender could save lives. 

Question 3: How effective are these campaigns for targeting real criminals?

Answer: Several forces including Devon & Cornwall Police have held gun surrenders - the last national surrender was in 2017 - and this has resulted in hundreds of firearms and rounds of ammunition being handed in. This can only be a good thing.

It takes the weapons out of circulation and out of the hands of criminals.

During the 2017 surrender of similar duration a total of 569 firearms of all types were handed in across Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, along with more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition.

Question 4: What items do you think will be handed in?

Answer: In previous campaigns there have been various weapons handed in including antique guns, air weapons, rifles, shotguns. We hope many weapons will be surrendered. If you want to safely dispose of a firearm but have queries about how to do so you can contact your police force for advice.

Question 5: What is the difference between an amnesty and a gun surrender?

Answer: A firearms surrender exists around a particular point in time when a firearm is handed in to a lawful authority.

Firearms surrenders allow law enforcement to examine the history and use of a firearm prior to its surrender. Any possession or use of the gun prior to its surrender may therefore legitimately be considered for investigation or prosecution.

A firearms amnesty may be considered by some to represent immunity from prosecution for the lifetime of the firearm, this is not the case with a firearm surrender - with a surrender any criminal use of that firearm will be examined and acted upon.

A firearms surrender is aimed at taking guns out of circulation and removing them from criminal use to minimise the harm to our communities and suppress any threat.

This approach allows the public to be reassured that forces are not ‘going soft on gun crime’ and that it is the intention to consider prosecution linked to any firearm where police can prove a link to offences committed before the weapon was handed in. Any amnesty applies only at the point of surrender, not for any offences committed prior to the surrender.

The message we want to get out is that anyone with a gun they don’t want or do not legally hold should give it up during the firearms surrender and not wait for the police to turn up at their address.

Question 6: What will happen to all the guns handed in?

Answer: By far and away the largest proportion of the firearms will be destroyed but some may be retained by police armourers if they are of significant interest or unusual, etc. Any guns which can be proved to be linked to crime will be kept as evidence and retained for any future court case proceedings.

Question 7: If gun crime levels have been falling why do we need surrender campaigns?

Answer: It is true that compared to other countries our gun crime levels are low. However we cannot be complacent about the continued threat to our communities from criminals with access to guns. The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS), working together with UK police forces, is determined to carry on suppressing the threat. Gun surrenders are one way to show the public how seriously we all take this issue.

We want to get as many firearms out of circulation and off the streets as possible.

One gun in the wrong hands can have catastrophic consequences.         

 

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

Current location: Change

There seems to be a problem, please refresh the page and try again.

©2015 Devon and Cornwall Constabulary


Content uploaded: |
Content correct on page at last modification date.
Devon and Cornwall Police are NOT accountable for the content of external websites