The force is holding a 2-week amnesty of firearms and ammunition between Thursday 12th May and Sunday 29th May 2022, during which time Islanders can surrender firearms at Newport Police Station.
Firearms legislation is regularly updated and the police are asking people to surrender unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to help avoid them getting into the wrong hands. Many firearms may be held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or may be overlooked or forgotten in people’s homes.
The surrender gives holders the chance to dispose of the firearm or ammunition safely by taking it to a local police station and handing it in. Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed firearms avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.
Between now and 29th May, those surrendering 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.
Police want to take out of circulation any type of firearm and ammunition including:
- Guns which can still be fired
- Antique or unwanted collectible weapons
- Trophies of war
- Replica weapons
- Air weapons
- BB guns
- Stun guns
- Ammunition, which is no longer required
Outside of the surrender period if Police find you in possession of a firearm for which you do not have a license then you could receive a mandatory 5-year prison sentence.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Storey, says:
“We can be proud that gun crime in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight remains low and thankfully very rare. However, we are not complacent about gun crime, tackling serious violence is a Force priority and a firearms surrender works towards preventing crime and protecting the public; we want as many guns as possible to be handed in.
“Together with our partners we continually work hard to educate people about firearms and the dangers that come with them, to ensure that gun crime doesn’t become prevalent in the future.
“Firearms and ammunition can be surrendered at all of three of our Police Investigation Centre’s front offices based in Basingstoke, Portsmouth, Southampton and Newport (IOW) ; but anyone handing in a firearm, or a stun gun, during the Firearms Surrender is advised to check the opening times of their station from our website. To receive advice on how best to transport the weapon responsibly from home to the police station phone 101 before travelling.
“If you have even a shadow of doubt about the legality of a weapon or ammunition that you possess we urge you to hand it in during the surrender.
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“If you know of people involved in illegal firearms activity call the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Every call to Crimestoppers is anonymous and potentially vital to preventing or solving serious crimes; removing an illegally held firearm may just save someone’s life.”
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