Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for people to hand in any unwanted guns during a two-week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting today, Monday 13th November.
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 harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.
This surrender gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition in a safe place and will be held for two weeks starting from today, Monday.
During the fortnight, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.
Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed weapons stops the risk of them becoming involved in criminality.
While firearms can be surrendered at any police station, police would encourage members of the public to visit six specially designated stations:
- The Bridewell: open 8am – 8pm everyday;
- Broadbury Road: open 8am – 8pm everyday;
- Patchway Police Centre: open 8am – 8pm everyday;
- Bridgwater Police Centre: open 8am – 8pm everyday;
- Yeovil: open 8am – 8pm everyday;
- Trinity Road: open 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday.
If someone is unable to travel to a police station they should contact police via 101 and arrange for the firearm to be collected.
The six stations are also where knife surrender bins are located, and these will remain in place for the duration of the operation.
Members of the public will be able to continue to surrender their bladed weapons during this time.
Two permanent knife bins also remain in place at Bristol Magistrates’ Court and Bristol Crown Court.
The last time Avon and Somerset Police put the surrender bins in place, they had nearly 200 knives handed in in just one week.
Chief Inspector John Holt said: “The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners and our local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.
“We use various tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands – but we need the public’s help. We want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to hand them in.
“If you know where a weapon is being kept illegally, now is your chance to give up the gun, or tell us anonymously where it is. You will not be prosecuted and you could save a life.
“One weapon off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities.
“We will use all of the powers and information available to us to locate this criminality and put a stop to it for good.”
If you know of people involved in illegal firearms, call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.