Po­lice of­fer amnesty over il­le­gal firearms

Items can be given up with­out fear of pros­e­cu­tion

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PO­LICE are of­fer­ing an amnesty to any­one who hands in il­le­gal weapons at sta­tions across Bucks.

Thames Val­ley Po­lice will not pros­e­cute those who sur­ren­der firearms or am­mu­ni­tion be­fore 10pm on Sun­day.

The cam­paign, to re­duce the num­ber of il­le­gally held weapons in cir­cu­la­tion, has been run­ning since Mon­day last week.

Un­li­censed guns, bul­lets, old or an­tique firearms, or il­le­gal weapons, can be handed to po­lice with­out fear of pros­e­cu­tion.

The max­i­mum jail term for pos­sess­ing an il­le­gal gun in­creased in July 2014 from 10 years to life.

Lead­ing the cam­paign, Chief In­spec­tor Lind­say James said: “The aim of the two-week firearms sur­ren­der is to stop guns get­ting into the wrong hands.

“Ev­ery gun given up is one less that crim­i­nals can use.

“Li­cence hold­ers can be re­as­sured that th­ese mea­sures merely en­hance their rights and priv­i­leges to own firearms, by re­mov­ing il­le­gal ones.”

Li­cence hold­ers are also en­cour­aged to sur­ren­der weapons they no longer have a use for.

The amnesty can be used to get rid of firearms left by a fam­ily mem­ber who has died.

Mr James added: “Although year on year crime fig­ures show that firearm crime has re­duced in Thames Val­ley in the last three years, au­thor­i­ties be­lieve that the change in leg­is­la­tion which came into ef­fect on July 14 means a num­ber of firearms will be held by peo­ple in in­no­cence and ig­no­rance of their il­le­gal­ity.

“It is im­por­tant to em­pha­sise that guns sus­pected to have pre­vi­ously been used in crimes, will be in­ves­ti­gated.”

Weapons handed in to front coun­ters will be foren­si­cally ex­am­ined and

It is im­por­tant to em­pha­sise that guns sus­pected

to have pre­vi­ously been used in crimes, will be in­ves­ti­gated”

in­for­ma­tion sent to Na­tional Bal­lis­tics In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice where ap­pro­pri­ate.

Re­cent changes to firearms leg­is­la­tion in­cluded tight­ened the law on an­tique firearms.

Any­one who has served or re­ceived a crim­i­nal sen­tence can no longer pos­sess an an­tique gun.

Sen­tenc­ing guide­lines for pos­ses­sion for sale or trans­fer of an unau­tho­rised firearm or am­mu­ni­tion have also been raised.

This of­fence now car­ries a max­i­mum penalty of life.

Guns can be dropped off at Ayles­bury po­lice sta­tion be­tween 8am and 10pm, High Wy­combe po­lice sta­tion from 8am to 10pm and Maiden­head po­lice sta­tion be­tween 8am and 10pm.

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