Police forces are appealing for people to hand in unwanted guns with a two-week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting on Saturday 20 July 2019.
Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people's homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities. The surrender gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition by simply taking them to a local police station and handing them over.
The surrender will run until Sunday 4 August 2019. Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed firearms avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.
During that period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.
Inspector Paul Saunders said: "Our mission is to keep people safe and protect our communities; we must never be complacent about gun crime.
"Thanks to partnership working, we now have a greater understanding of this sort of crime, including the potential triggers that can cause violence.
"It is important that we continue to educate people around the dangers of firearms from a young age, provide alternatives to gangs, and work hard on enforcement for those that insist on being involved in violent crime and illegal activity.
"This is a national firearms surrender, not a firearms amnesty, which means that people can hand in guns they should not have without being prosecuted for firearms possession.
"The surrender does not give amnesty for the life of the firearm and the public should be reassured that the police will continue to vigorously investigate offences linked to any firearm recovered.
"Information from witnesses and local communities is vital if we are able to obtain the evidence needed to arrest and prosecute offenders.
"Lawful gun license-holders can be reassured that these measures merely enhance their rights and privileges to own firearms. I would however encourage them to take this opportunity to consider whether they can surrender firearms they no longer have any use for.
"Firearms should be handed into front counter staff at identified police stations. If you are unable to travel to a police station, then you should contact police via 101 and arrange for the firearm to be collected".
Firearms and ammunition can be surrendered at the following locations, during the specified opening hours, between Saturday 20 July and Sunday 4 August:
If you know of people involved in illegal firearms call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.