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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Gun owners in West Yorkshire urged to give up illegal weapons with “no questions asked”

The last gun amnesty was held three years ago.

A national firearms surrender will allow people to turn over illegal guns to police without getting arrested.

West Yorkshire Police is hosting a two-week amnesty and is urging people to hand over any unlawful firearms and encourage friends and family to do the same.

People in possession of any illegal firearms can hand them over with “no questions asked” at police stations in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Calderdale, and Kirklees.

The amnesty fortnight will last from today, Thursday 12 May, to Sunday 29 May, giving people 18 days to hand any weapons in at one of six police stations across the county without fear of being prosecuted for possessing them.

The firearms surrender comes almost three years after the last campaign that resulted in 90 weapons being handed in.

People do not need to leave contact details when giving up their weapons. Image: St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

A total of 31 ‘live’ firearms including 21 handguns, eight shotguns, a taser and a rifle were surrendered. Large quantities of ammunition, including 1,500 shotgun cartridges were also handed over.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Pat Twiggs, said: “We know that many people will have firearms kept illegally in their homes.

“It could be that they don’t understand that being in possession of such a weapon is illegal or perhaps recent changes in the law may have rendered what was a previously legal firearm, an illegal one.

“It could be that these firearms are gathering dust in the attic, garage or garden shed. Or it could be that you know a loved one who, for whatever reason, has an illegally-held gun in the house.

“These are the reasons why it’s important that we have these firearms and ammunition surrender now – as it allows people to hand in these weapons into a secure environment where they can be disposed of safely.

“If just one weapon is taken off the streets, that reduces the chances of it being used in criminality” – Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Pat Twiggs

“People don’t have to leave their details with our officers if they don’t want to and they won’t be prosecuted for possessing a firearm that’s handed to us during this 18-day period.

“It is important that in the fight against gun crime we look to get as many illegal guns as we can off the streets of West Yorkshire. If just one weapon is taken off the streets, that reduces the chances of it being used in criminality. Surrendering illegally held firearms avoids that risk.”

West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe OBE said: “Tackling serious violent crime is one of the key priorities of the Mayor’s first Police and Crime Plan and I support every intervention and approach that might assist in combatting these issues within our communities.

“We have all seen the harm that weapons can do to our communities and the dreadful consequences for the individuals involved in their possession or use.

“Sustained partnership approach, coupled with dedicated campaigns such as this latest firearms surrender are helping to ensure our county remains a safe place to live and work.”

If you have any concerns about the safety of transporting a firearm you are planning to surrender, please call 101 instead so that arrangements can be made for it to be surrendered in a safe manner.

Firearms and ammunition can be handed in at the following six locations in West Yorkshire:

Bradford Police Station – Trafalgar House, Nelson Street. BD5 0DX. 8am to 8pm – seven days a week.

Halifax Police Station -Richmond Close, HX1 5TW. 8am to 8pm – seven days a week.

Huddersfield Police Station – Castlegate, HD1 2NJ. 8am to 8pm – seven days a week.

Dewsbury Police Station – Aldams Road, WF12 8AR. 8am to 8pm – seven days a week.

Elland Road Police Station – Elland Road, LS11 8BU. 8am to 8pm – seven days a week.

Wakefield District Headquarters – Havertop Lane, WF6 1FD. 8am to 8pm – seven days a week.

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