People in possession of unwanted guns or ammunition are being encouraged to hand them in as part of a campaign to make Surrey and Sussex safer.
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 appeal gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition by simply handing them in at their local police station – a list of opening times and locations can be found below.
During the surrender period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession of a firearm at the point of surrender of the firearm to lawful authority, and they can remain anonymous.
However, this surrender does not mean police will not investigate firearms offences, should any come to light, once the operation has concluded.
This is a firearms surrender; not a firearms amnesty, and police are committed to reduce the harm to our communities from firearms crime.
The surrender, which runs from Monday 20 July to Sunday 4 August, forms part of a national campaign by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).
The aim of the operation, supported by Surrey Police and Sussex Police, is to reduce the number of illegally held firearms in circulation which could fall into the hands of criminals.
This includes replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, antique guns, de-activated guns, component parts, stun guns, Taser, CS/pepper spray and other ballistic items.
We are also encouraging current and previous military personnel to hand in any items kept as war trophies.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Rayland said: “If you have any guns or ammunition you no longer want, or if you don’t know what to do with them or how to safely dispose of them, we can help. By surrendering your weapons now, it will prevent them falling into the hands of criminals and endangering the public.
“We recognise that firearms or replica weapons in the wrong hands can assist in the commission of serious offences, can increase community fears, can result in a significant drain on police resources responding to incidents, and can present a potential risk to armed officers confronting an individual in possession of a weapon they believe to be real.
“While crimes involving firearms in both Surrey and Sussex are extremely rare, we understand that every weapon poses a potential threat if not licensed and stored safely. That’s why we’re offering people this opportunity to safely hand in their unwanted weapons which, if in the wrong hands, could be deadly.
“During the surrender we want people to hand in illegally-held guns and ammunition, imitation firearms and air guns used for criminal purposes, other unwanted guns and ammunition including air guns and imitations, and firearms you are being asked to hide for someone else. If you have a gun that falls into any of these categories, now is your chance to hand it in.”