Greater Manchester Police urges Wiganers to hand in weapons

Police are encouraging people to hand over weapons during a two-week long surrender of firearms and ammunition.

By Sian Jones
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 4:55 am

The National Firearm Surrender campaign, co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) begins on May 12 to May 29, and is part of a national crackdown on reducing violent crime and ridding lethal weapons from the streets.

Legislation is regularly updated and officers from Greater Manchester Police are urging people to surrender unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to avoid their falling into the wrong hands.

It is not just targeting those involved in criminal behaviour, but also collectors, licence holders and anyone who has inherited a firearm.

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The national firearm surrender runs for two weeks

Many firearms may be held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or may be forgotten.

It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that they meet the relevant ownership requirements.

Over 580 firearms have been handed in as a result of previous operations.

Handing in unwanted, unlicensed and illegal weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality so they can be disposed of in a safe place

Illegal possession of a firearm can result in a sentence of up to five years in prison and anyone found guilty of possession with intent to supply could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

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Supt John Griffiths, of GMP’s Serious Crime Division, said: “We are absolutely committed to robustly investigating serious crime, specifically targeting those in possession or transferring firearms as they pose a real, serious threat.

“Detectives across the force and those within our serious crime division investigate those involved in firearms on a daily basis and a 30 per cent drop in discharges over the last 12 months across the region is a testament of this – but work’s still to do be done and we’re determined to rid these lethal weapons from our streets.

“This gives those with firearms and ammunition an opportunity to hand them in. Anyone who may have a firearm in their house that may have been inherited, or found, or keeping for someone else, should hand it to us and free themselves of the burden.

“Criminals who are in possession of firearms or ammunition should also hand their items over – this is an opportunity to make the streets safer and if those involved don’t wish to hand items over – it’s only a matter of time before we find them ourselves and bring you to justice.”

Those with stun guns and similar devices, anyone with converted blank-firing firearms or ammunition, or has ordered any illegal guns or component parts using internet sites are also urged to hand them in.

Supt Griffiths added: “Lawful gun license-holders are also encouraged to use the surrender for weapons they no longer have any use for, or even those who have inherited items from grandparents who have passed.

“A number of legislative changes have taken place and people may not be aware that an inherited firearm or once legally owned firearm are now illegal. Anyone in possession of a firearm should check the legal status of their items by visiting www.nabis.police.uk.

“Every firearm surrendered is one less that criminals can potentially access and use to cause damage.”

Weapons can be handed be handed into Wigan police station between 8am and 8pm weekdays and 10am to 6pm on weekends.

Anyone who may know of anyone involved in illegal firearms activity is asked to report it online, via LiveChat or on 101.

You can also report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”