A FIREARMS surrender is set to take place across the West Midlands led by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).
It will run for two weeks between Saturday (July 20), and Saturday August 4, and calls on residents to hand in any firearms, including guns, ammunition, stunguns and pepper spray to local police stations.
Items can be taken to one of the 10 police stations across the West Midlands and people are advised to check station opening times in advance.
Solihull police station on Homer Road and Coventry Little Park Street station will be open from 8am until 10pm.
Guns can be surrendered anonymously and the history of live weapons will be checked for any evidence of criminal use.
The firearms will either be destroyed at the West Midlands Police armoury or retained for training exercises.
Chief Superintendent Mark Payne, from force CID, said: “I would urge anyone who is holding a gun, or knows anyone holding a gun, maybe through fear or misguided loyalty to someone else, to hand it in now, otherwise the alternative could be up to five years in prison.
“We also hope the surrender will stop unused shotguns or antique firearms – often World War relics gathering dust in loft spaces – from potentially falling into the hands of criminals. The surrender in 2017 saw one gentleman hand in 10 replica firearms along with ammunition, which belonged to his late uncle that he had been storing for years as he didn’t know what to do with them.
“Criminals can reactivate these guns and an ‘underground’ armourer provide bespoke ammunition – so please hand these in and don’t risk them falling into criminal hands.
“Help us tackle this kind of violence in our communities, and surrender your firearms.”
The last local surrender in May last year saw 115 firearms handed in, comprising over 30 lethal firearms and 45 air weapons. During the 2017 national surrender, more than 9,500 items were surrendered across the country.
So far this year, the force has taken 46 firearms off the streets – not including firearms handed in – amid 68 confirmed firearms discharges in the same period.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “I welcome this campaign by West Midlands Police to tackle the problem of violent crime. The last firearms surrender saw more than 100 weapons handed in to police, many of which could have fallen into the wrong hands.
“This is an opportunity for people with firearms to stop, think and take positive action. Every weapon taken off the streets, is potentially a life saved.
“My message to anyone who has an unlicensed firearm is ‘do the right thing, hand it in’.”
To receive advice on how best to transport the weapon responsibly from home to the police station call 101 before travelling.
Anyone unable to reach a police station is also advised to call 101 and arrangements can be made to collect the weapon.