People urged to hand in unlicensed firearms | Norfolk Constabulary

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People urged to hand in unlicensed firearms

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Norfolk Police are asking people to hand in their guns, as they support a national surrender on firearms and ammunition.

It will run from 13 – 26 November 2017 in a bid to reduce the availability of illegal firearms to criminals, reduce the number of illegal firearms within local supply chains and ultimately reduce firearm offences in the county. 

During this time members of the public will be able to hand over unlicensed weapons without fear of prosecution. This includes replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, component parts and other ballistic items currently lawfully held.

Richard Kennett, Firearms Licensing Manager for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, said: "Some people may have un-registered, old weapons that they have forgotten about, or have received one through inheritance that they no longer use, or that they don’t know what to do with.

“Although such weapons aren’t being used for crimes, it’s important that they are handed in to the police to stop them from falling into the wrong hands.

"Fortunately we don’t have a big problem with gun crime in Norfolk and reducing the amount of illegally owned firearms across the county will help reduce the threat of gun crime even further.”

Firearms can be surrendered at any police station, but people are encouraged to take them to their nearest Public Enquiry Office (PEO).

In Norfolk these are:

  • Police HQ - Wymondham
  • King’s Lynn
  • Norwich
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Thetford
  • Dereham
  • Cromer
  • Downham Market
  • Fakenham
  • Hunstanton
  • North Walsham

Residents should make sure that the firearm is unloaded and covered up, and if possible people are asked to ring the police beforehand on 101 to let officers know that they are bringing a gun in as part of the operation.

For further advice on the surrender, please visit www.norfolk.police.uk or contact the firearms department by calling 01953 424141.

For more details about the firearms legislation changes visit the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) website http://www.nabis.police.uk/Legislation

FAQs

Can I hand in the gun anonymously?

Yes, on arrival at the station you will be asked if you are willing to sign a disclaimer. However, we will still accept the gun even if you don’t want to sign it.

Will I be prosecuted for handing in an illegal firearm?

People who hand in guns at a police station during 13 – 26 November will avoid prosecution for owning an unlicensed firearm.

However, if police suspect that the weapon has been used in a crime, the firearm’s history will be searched and prosecutions could be made in relation to any investigation that the weapon is linked to.

Immunity from prosecution only occurs at the point of surrender; anyone in possession of a firearm prior to surrendering could still be investigated and therefore may still be prosecuted.

Who should surrender their firearms?

  • Anyone who owns an unlicensed firearm.
  • Anyone who owns a licensed firearm that they no longer have a use or need for.
  • People who have a weapon of any kind that they wish to hand over to police.
  • People who are no longer legally allowed to own firearms due to legislation.
  • People who own registered antique firearms who have not served a custodial sentence of more than three months, or who have not received a suspended sentence of three months to three years, do not need to surrender their firearms.

What can be surrendered?

BB guns, air weapons, imitation and replica firearms, both legally and illegally owned firearms, ammunition, and component parts, can all be handed in.

Other weapons such as knives can also be surrendered.

Where can I surrender my firearms?

Any police station in Norfolk, find your nearest one and its opening times here:

https://www.norfolk.police.uk/contact-us/how-find-us

How should I take my gun to the police station?

Please make sure that your gun is unloaded and covered up when you bring it in to the police station. If possible, please ring 101 to let the station know that you are coming. If you’re not sure whether your gun is loaded or you have any questions about unloading it, please contact the police firearms department on 101.

Is there any legislation regarding firearms licensing?

From July 2014, changes were made to the firearms legislation applying to antiques firearms. This means that anyone who has served a custodial sentence of more than three years, or who has received a suspended sentence or served a custodial sentence of three months to three years, is prohibited from owning a firearm.

Find out more about the legislation:

http://www.nabis.police.uk/Legislation

For further information about firearms licensing in general, visit: 

https://www.norfolk.police.uk/services/firearms

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/firearms-law-guidance-to-the-police-2012