Warwickshire Police is offering people the chance to hand over guns as part of a national firearms surrender operation.
Operation Magpie aims to reduce gun crime and similar operations run in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands have led to 750 firearms and imitation firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition being handed in.
The operation will run in the Warwickshire and West Mercia policing areas from now until Sunday November 16 and will give anyone with a firearm living in the area the opportunity to surrender the weapon at their local police station. People surrendering weapons will not be required to leave any information but if police suspect a weapon may have been involved in a crime they will examine the gun for evidence.
Superintendent Charles Hill said: “Compared to other areas of the country we don’t have a big gun problem in the region. However, we are aware of issues of gun crime nationally and we are keen to play our part in supporting this operation and reducing the opportunities for firearms to be used for criminal offences. Every firearm surrendered is one less weapon that can be used to commit crime.”
The area has a large number of legal firearms owners and this is also an opportunity for them to hand in old weapons or weapons they no longer need. Superintendent Hill explained: “As well as all the legal firearms, we know that there are a lot of unregistered older weapons, perhaps in peoples lofts or garages. While these are not being used for criminal activities they can and sometimes do fall into the wrong hands and are used to commit crimes. This is an opportunity for people who do have such firearms to bring them to us to be dealt with appropriately.
“We would also like to use this opportunity to encourage anyone who has concerns about someone owning firearms, ammunition or explosives, either legitimately or illegally, to report it to us.”
All surrendered weapons will be destroyed or, if the weapon has historical value, donated to a museum.
Weapons can be handed over at Leamington Police Station, Warwickshire Justice Centre, Newbold Terrace, Leamington, CV32 4EL, from Monday to Saturday 8am-8pm, Sunday 10am-4pm.