GUNS and ammunition are being handed to Sussex Police in a bid to stop them falling into the hands of criminals.
From Monday until November 21, Sussex Police has invited people with unwanted firearms to hand them in to be disposed of safely.
A spokesman from the force said: “New legislation that came into effect on July 14 increased the maximum jail term for illegal gun possession from ten years to life.
“This now includes anyone who is storing a weapon for someone else. It also includes antique firearms due to the fact that obsolete weapons can be made viable by criminals with ballistics knowledge.
“Police believe many gun owners may not realise the weapons they have could be illegal or the danger they pose if they fall into the wrong hands.
“The campaign gives holders the chance to dispose of their firearms and ammunition safely by handing them in at a police station.”
The police have said that during this two-week period, those surrendering firearms would not be prosecuted for offences of possessing them illegally. However, each weapon might be analysed to determine if it had been used in crime and, if it had, it would be investigated.
Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, head of operations command across Sussex Police and Surrey Police forces, said: “A firearm might not be a danger in your hands, but if it was stolen by a burglar and passed to other criminals it could put people’s lives in danger.”
Police said anyone handing in firearms should disarm them and put them in a box or strong bag. Ammunition should be placed in a separate box or bag.
“Ensure they are covered from view on your way to a station and when you arrive, tell a member of police staff that you are there to surrender a weapon before revealing it,” said the spokesman.
If the firearms cannot be taken to a station, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 to arrange for an officer to visit and collect it.