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Police welcome gun amnesty response

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Police say using a BB gun in a public place could lead to arrest by armed officers.
Herts police say more than 60 weapons have been handed in during the first week of a month-long gun amnesty.

The guns handed in so far include a number of air weapons, replicas and BB guns. The police say that, although these are legal to own, anyone carrying them or displaying them in public runs the risk of being confronted by armed officers.

According to Superintendent Steve Hughes, who is coordinating the amnesty in Hertfordshire, the more guns the force destroys during April, the less chance there is of guns being used in a crime or to harm others in the future.

Hertfordshire Constabularly has repeated an earlier warning to young people, and their parents, not to handle replica, air or BB weapons in public.

"Many replicas and air weapons are manufactured in such a way that even trained police firearms officers are unable to tell them apart from the real thing if confronted with them. We are appealing to people who have these weapons in their homes, or whose children own replica or ball-bearing guns that they no longer want or need, to hand them in to the police before their own child, or someone else, is injured," Superintendent Hughes said.

The public has until the end of this month to surrender any illegally held weapons and ammunition.

Here is a reminder of the guidelines set out by the police for people wanting to hand in weapons during the amnesty ...:

  • Take a logical and direct route from their home/business premises to a police station
  • The surrendered weapon should be carried in a box or other appropriate packing
  • If travelling in a car the weapon should, if possible, be carried in the boot
  • The gun should, if possible, be handed in unloaded and separated from any ammunition. (If anyone is unsure about how to make a weapon safe they should contact their local police station for advice prior to handing it in)
  • Never point the weapon at anyone or have it on display in a public place.
Hertfordshire Constabulary has put together a page on its website setting out how people should go about handing in weapons.

9 April 2003

Related News
Gun amnesty extends to replicas - 31 March 2003
Police issue BB gun warning - 30 November 2002

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