Nottinghamshire Police have launched a two-week ‘surrender period’ for illegally-held guns and ammunition.
The appeal is urging people who have guns they don’t want or that are in their possession without a licence to hand them in and prevent them getting into criminal hands.
The initiative is different to an amnesty – where people who hand in weapons would not face questions over their previous use in crimes.
Instead a surrender aims to allow people who hold guns which they have not used to commit crime to hand them in if they have been keeping them without lawful permission, such as inheriting them, or simply to hand them in easily and safely if they no longer want them.
Launching the appeal a Mansfield Police Station, Assistant Chief Constable Steven Cooper said: “Firearms are a big problem in any major city, but firearms criminality is extremely rare. We only had two people injured here last year from a firearm, but that’s still two people too many.
“People come across firearms in a variety of ways. Some come from previous conflicts, or war zones, and other have simply been handed down through generations where previously people have had a shotgun legitimately.
“But when they’re handed down to the next generation, either through bereavement or simply passing them down to the next generation, that person doesn’t need them, hasn’t got the required licence so that makes them an illegal weapon.
“Possession of that outside of the surrender is 5 years imprisonment, so this is a really good chance to get them out of the loft and out of the shed.”
People can also hand in the weapons anonymously, and Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, said: “We want people to be safe and secure. So, removing weapons, even if they’re not used, off the street, out of the lofts, into a safe place into a safe place is in everybody’s interest.
“Nobody needs to be worried about coming forward and bringing forward the equipment.
“These could be dangerous weapons. The sooner you hand them in over the next fortnight, the better.”
Four Nottinghamshire police stations are taking in firearms during the two-week period; Mansfield, Newark, Worksop and Radford Road. Alternatively, collection can be arranged by calling 101.
In 2014, a similar appeal was held, and 232 guns were handed in throughout Nottinghamshire, with over 6000 being surrendered nationally.
The surrender runs from Monday, November 13 to Sunday, November 16.