Hampshire Constabulary is appealing to the public to hand over any unwanted guns during a 2-week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting on Saturday 20th July 2019 and running until Sunday 4th August, as part of a national campaign supported by police in England and Wales.
Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to threaten or harm their local communities. The surrender gives the opportunity to dispose of a firearm or ammunition by simply taking it to a local designated police station and handing it in.
During the campaign period, those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession – at the point of surrender – and can remain anonymous if they choose to.
The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) co-ordinated the last national firearms surrender which took place in November 2017 and was deemed a big success with thousands of potentially lethal items prevented from getting into criminal hands. More than 400 items were handed in Hampshire and the Thames Valley region, with over 9,500 items were handed in nationally to police. These included hand guns, rifles, shotguns, so-called ‘antique’ (obsolete calibre) guns and imitation firearms, as well as ammunition. Shotguns were the most popular firearms handed in and accounted for 59% of the total surrendered.
This summer’s campaign has a particular focus on firearms, stun gun type devices and pepper sprays. Police want to highlight the danger of these items and remind people they are illegal in this country and could lead to a prison sentence for anyone caught in possession.
Guns and ammunition can be surrendered at designated police stations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the surrender is advised only visit the police stations listed who have front counter staff to take the surrendered items. Anyone who is unable to visit one of these stations is advised to call 101 to arrange a collection from a home address.
Newport Police Station
High Street, Newport, PO30 1SZ
09:00-18:00 Monday to Saturday
09:30-18:00 on Sunday
Illegal possession of a firearm can mean 5 years behind bars and if you are found guilty of possession with intent to supply that can lead to a life sentence.
Hampshire and Thames Valley Police’s Chief Inspector Karen McManus said:
“I would urge people to hand in their guns, whether they are imitation firearms or unlicensed, any firearm in the wrong hands can have a devastating impact and it is no exaggeration to say that each gun we retrieve has the potential to save a life.
“If you or a family member possess an illegal or unwanted firearm please hand it in to the police at one of the designated stations which can be found on our website under the news section or by calling 101 for advice. It might just be the best decision you ever make. Destroying these firearms will make us all safer.”
If you know of anyone involved with illegal firearms call Police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111. If you are a licensed firearm holder who wants advice you should also call Police on 101.