People in possession of unwanted guns or ammunition are being encouraged to make their communities safer by handing them into the police.
Nottinghamshire Police believes that some firearms are held by people who are unaware of their illegality.
Others, such as war trophies handed down by relatives, may be lying overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes.
Keen to avoid these weapons either causing injury or falling into the hands of criminals, Nottinghamshire Police is giving people the opportunity to dispose of them by handing them in at police stations.
The surrender campaign, which runs from Thursday, May 12 to Sunday, May 29 is part of a national campaign by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).
The aim of the operation is to reduce the number of illegally held firearms.
These include replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, antique guns, component parts, stun guns, Taser, pepper spray and other ballistic items.
Detective Chief Inspector Samantha Austin, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “If people have firearms or ammunition in their possession, it may be the case that they just don’t know how or where they can safely dispose of them.
“It is possible they have something which has come into their possession as a war trophy or has been handed down as a family heirloom.
“Even if these have been deactivated or don’t appear to be in working order, they can still present significant dangers – especially if they fall into the hands of criminals.
“Regardless of where a firearm came from, if people no longer want them in their possession, this is their opportunity to hand them in.
“I also ask anyone who knows anything about an illegal firearm and who wants to report this anonymously, to do so into Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
During the two-week campaign, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal items in their possession when they surrender them.
Offences related to the previous use of the weapons are not covered.
Licensed firearms holders are also encouraged to use the opportunity to dispose of any legally held weapons they no longer have use for.
DCI Austin added: “Thankfully, gun crime is very rare on the streets of Nottinghamshire. However, when shooting incidents do happen, we are relentless in our pursuit of the people responsible. This campaign is part of the many preventative measures we have in place to stop offences from occurring in the first place.”
Firearms can be handed in at the following locations:
- Radford Road Police Station – 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday
- Mansfield Police Station – 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday
- Newark Police Station – 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday