Leicestershire Police is holding a two week long firearms amnesty to appeal for the surrender of unlawfully held and unwanted firearms and ammunition.
It is believed that a number of firearms are held by people in innocence and ignorance of their illegality. They could be in the home, but overlooked or forgotten, or someone could have come into possession of one through the death of a relative, for example.
To avoid these weapons getting into the wrong hands, and to provide members of the community with a safe place to dispose of any firearms they are unlawfully, or lawfully, in possession of, an amnesty is being held until Sunday 6 October.
During that period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession and they also have the opportunity to remain anonymous.
Chief Inspector Chris Brown of Leicestershire Police’s Operational Support Department said: “Fortunately gun crime within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is statistically low, which is a result of continued efforts from the Force. However, there was one death by firearm this year, which is extremely unusual for the city and county, but this is one death too many. We want as many weapons off the street as possible and would encourage people to hand them in.
“In addition to the amnesty, we continually work hard to educate young people about firearms and the dangers that come with them, to ensure that gun crime doesn’t become a problem for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”
Police officers regularly go into schools to present a hard hitting video called ‘Split Second’ to raise awareness. It features local officers and depicts young people getting involved with firearms and imitation firearms.
Anyone handing in a firearm during the amnesty is advised to check the opening times of the police station and then phone ahead before leaving home. They will then be advised on how to best transport the weapon responsibly from home to the police station.
The main collecting local policing units are:
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