Posted on 17th November 2014
A county-wide firearms surrender resulted in more than 150 guns and several thousand rounds of ammunition being handed in to police.
Derbyshire Constabulary gave people the chance to give up any real, fake, toy or antique guns or ammunition during a 12-day operation.
The aim was to cut the number of firearms in public circulation and reduce the risk of them falling into the hands of criminals.
It was also designed to raise awareness of new legislation tightening the rules on who can possess firearms, as well as educating people about the dangers of imitations such as BB guns.
The items surrendered during the campaign totalled 153 firearms.
The haul for Derbyshire includes 41 shotguns, five pistols, 12 revolvers, ten replica revolvers, 35 starter or air pistols, 19 BB guns and 19 air rifles.
Four antique replica guns were also handed in, along with more than 9,300 rounds of ammunition and three deactivated hand grenades.
Assistant Chief Constable Gary Knighton said: “The aim of this firearms surrender was to get guns off the streets and out of public circulation.
“It was to give people the chance to hand in any firearms, whether they were real, fake, antique or fully licensed, and the response we had was fantastic.
“Those 153 firearms are 153 that now cannot fall into the hands of criminals and be used to commit crime in Derbyshire.
“We want to keep our communities safe, and by removing these guns and ammunition with the assistance of the public, we are helping to do just that.”
The 12-day firearms surrender ran from Monday, October 27 to Friday, November 7. Within hours of the surrender operation launching, three starting pistols were handed in, as well as a BB gun, an air pistol and 20 rounds of ammunition from a French Army issue World War Two era rifle.
As part of the campaign, Derbyshire Constabulary produced a series of videos, two of which highlighted the difficulties officers face when telling the difference between real and fake guns.
Officers also teamed up with Derby County to raise awareness of the dangers of getting involved with guns for any reason.
Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Charles, said: “Every gun taken off the streets of Derbyshire contributes to making the county a safer place to live.
“I would like to thank all those who have helped to achieve this by handing in these weapons.”
The gun surrender was part of a nationwide focus that followed a change in firearms legislation. In July, changes were made to the Firearms Act 1968 that placed greater restrictions on who can legally possess firearms or ammunition.
These changes include persons who have received custodial sentences of between three months and three years, regardless of the offence, who are now prohibited from possessing any kind of firearm or ammunition for five years. Offenders who are sentenced to three years or more are prohibited for life.
Now, the same rule applies to anyone with a suspended sentence of three months or more.
There have also been changes to the law surrounding firearms that are classed as antiques, which can be possessed without a certificate if they are classed as a ‘curiosity or ornament’.
The changes also include anyone with a suspended or custodial sentence of between three months and three years who is now prohibited from possessing ‘antique’ firearms for five years. Anyone with a sentence of three years or more is prohibited from having antique firearms for life.
Anyone wanting to find out more about the surrender can visit www.derbyshire.police.uk.