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Seven shotguns, an antique muzzle loading musket, and numerous realistic replica firearms were among the 25 weapons that were handed in during a two-week firearms surrender.
Coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS), the firearms surrender was a national campaign designed to remove firearms from falling into the pool of criminally used weapons.
The surrender, which launched on Thursday, May 12, and ran until Sunday, May 29, allowed people across the county to hand in unwanted or illegal firearms and ammunition to the police.
Included in the 25 weapons handed into Northamptonshire Police were 16 air weapons including BB guns and starter pistols, seven shotguns, one deactivated SLP (German p38), an antique muzzle loading musket, as well as magazines and associated ammunition.
During the campaign, the public were asked to call police on 101 to arrange an appointment at their convenience and at a location of their choice, to have officers come and collect the firearm.
Inspector Colin Newport said: “I’m really pleased with the results of this surrender as it means that 25 dangerous weapons are now off the streets of Northamptonshire and therefore cannot be used to cause harm to anyone.
“The shotguns in particular are potentially lethal in the wrong hands, and whilst the replica firearms are not as dangerous, they have the appearance of real life, terrifying weapons, and would only be distinguished from a real weapon by an expert eye, so it’s great to have these handed in too.
“Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality, or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Some are held legally and are no longer required. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.
“This surrender gave people the chance to safely dispose of firearms or ammunition by having us discreetly come and collect them from their homes.
“I’m pleased that so many people took the opportunity to take part in this initiative and the number of firearms recovered certainly proves how valuable such a surrender is. We want the public to be safe, and this surrender means that the risk of these firearms potentially falling into the wrong hands, has been eliminated.”
Speaking about what will happen now, Inspector Newport added: “We make the weapons safe, we will then destroy them. If we believe the weapons have been involved in a crime, then there is a national framework to investigate that. And also, if we think there is an item of historical value, then we work with national museums to identify if something needs to be kept for the public good and displayed safely in a museum.”
If you know of anyone in possession of an illegal firearm or involved in gun crime call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.