Lancashire residents urged to hand over illegally held firearms as part of new national gun surrender

Residents in Lancashire are being urged to hand over illegal firearms and ammunition during a new national gun surrender.

By Sean Gleaves
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 2:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 2:13 pm

The surrender will allow people to anonymously hand in weapons and ammunition at designated police stations including heirlooms, shotguns and antique revolvers.

Weapons handed in during past surrenders included old wartime service revolvers, war trophies – including grenades – and gas-operated blank-firing pistols and stun-guns – bought during trips to Europe, or online.

Many such guns are held in innocence and ignorance that having them is against the law, according to the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (Nabis).

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The surrender – the first since 2019 – gives the opportunity to dispose of a firearm, gun components or ammunition by simply taking it to a local designated police station and handing it in.

The firearms surrender will start on May 12 and will run for two weeks, ending on May 29.

Chief Supt Richard Robertshaw from Lancashire Police said: “We can be proud that gun crime in the UK remains one of the lowest in the world and certainly here in Lancashire it is very rare.

“However, we are not complacent about gun crime which is why we are supporting the national Firearms Surrender.

A new national gun surrender will allow people to anonymously hand in weapons and ammunition. (Credit: PA Wire/ Richard Vernalls)

“We want as many guns as possible to be handed in to reduce the risk of them falling into the wrong hands and being used to commit serious harm.”

He added: “Throughout the two weeks, we’ll also be continuing to work hard to educate people about firearms and the dangers that come with them, to ensure that gun crime does not become prevalent in our county in the future.”

During the surrender period, those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession at the point of surrender and they can remain anonymous.

However, the history of each live firearm will be checked for evidence of its use in crime.

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said: "We have all seen how illegal firearms can have devastating consequences which is why it is so important we keep them out of the hands of criminals.

“I am determined to lead the fight against crime in Lancashire and every weapon that is not licensed or properly stored poses a potential threat to our communities.

“I would urge anyone in Lancashire who may possess an unlicensed firearm to take this opportunity to hand it in so it can be safely disposed of.”

People should check eligible police station locations in advance by visiting their local force website or calling 101.