AN AMNESTY on illegal firearms and ammunition is today being launched by Hampshire police in a bid to make communities safer.
It coincides with unannounced home visits to firearm or shotgun certificate holders to ensure weapons are being held safely.
Officers are reminding the public about changes in the law which mean someone who has served or received a criminal sentence can no longer possess an antique gun.
Anyone caught with an unauthorised firearm or ammunition could face life in jail.
Chief Supt Dave Hardcastle said:’I’d encourage people who illegally hold weapons and ammunition to surrender them to us. This in turn will reduce the risk of these weapons ending up in the wrong hands.
‘We want to get as many firearms out of circulation and off the streets as possible.
‘One gun in the wrong hands can have catastrophic consequences.’
Simon Hayes, police and crime commissioner, added: ‘There are of course those who have a legitimate reason for holding a firearm and are licensed to do so. However, for those who don’t, I would strongly urge them to take advantage of this opportunity and hand their weapon in to the police, and help keep our communities safe from harm should the weapon get into the wrong hands.
‘Anyone knowing a person holding an unlicensed firearm, I would ask them to make them aware of this opportunity.’
A campaign in 2003 in north Hampshire saw 119 firearms and 1,124 rounds of live ammunition surrendered in 16 days.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101. The amnesty runs until November 21.