For the month of September, South Wales Police are asking the public to surrender their firearms.
During the Firearms Surrender Month, members of the public will be able to take firearms into police stations and hand them over the front counter.
Detective Inspector Chris Williams, the Force Gun Crime lead said:
“A Firearms Surrender offers the public the opportunity to safely surrender illegal or unwanted firearms, a number of which may be held by people with a lack of awareness of their illegality.
“Members of the public will be able to take firearms into eight designated police stations across south Wales and hand them over the front counter.
“To reassure you, South Wales Police has very low rates of gun crime, and the UK in general has some of the lowest gun crime rates in the world. But every gun given up is one less that criminals can use.
“As well as traditional firearms such as shotguns and pistols, In the wrong hands, an imitation firearm, such as a BB gun or an air weapon can be used to cause injury or perpetrate serious offences.
“It is also these types of weapons which we are asking the public to surrender this month.”
During the Firearms Surrender period, at the point of surrender those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession and they may wish to remain anonymous.
For more information on how to surrender your firearm or to answer some of the frequently asked questions, we have created the below FAQs section:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Firearms Surrender?
A: Firearms Surrender means people can hand in guns they should not have, without being prosecuted for having them. During a Surrender we want people to hand in:
Illegally-held guns and ammunition;
Imitation firearms and air guns used for criminal purposes;
Other unwanted guns and ammunition including air guns, Stun Guns, ‘Tasers’, CS Devices and imitation firearms. As well as lawfully held, unwanted items.
If you have a firearm that falls into any of these categories, hand it in.
Q: When will the Firearms Surrender take place?
A: The Surrender will be in place from 1st to 30th September 2023.
Q: Where can I hand in a firearm during the Surrender?
A: Firearms should be handed to police and front counter staff at eight designated stations across South Wales Police.
Q: Why is the Firearms Surrender taking place now?
A: It has been a year and a half years since the last National Firearms Surrender and there have been a number of changes in firearms legislation in recent years which some members of the public may still be unaware of. The Surrender will raise awareness of the legislation change and allow the public to help the police reduce the threat from the availability of illegal firearms.
Q: Who does the Surrender affect?
A: Some people may be unaware of recent changes and how they affect them – the firearms may have been inherited by relatives or overlooked by owners. This Surrender gives people the opportunity to dispose of these safely and without charge (at the point of surrender).
Q: Isn’t this letting criminals with firearms escape justice?
A: The force is committed to robustly investigating serious crime and protecting the public. The Firearms Surrender removes firearms from the streets, but does not prevent the police from investigating the background to any of the firearms handed in. Where there is evidence to follow up a prosecution the police will continue to do so.
Q: Does this mean that you have given up on tackling gun crime?
A: No, gun crime in the UK is still one of the lowest in the world. This is as a result of continued efforts from the police and its partner agencies.
Q: What are you doing to prevent an increase in gun crime?
A: We have a much greater understanding of this sort of crime thanks to partnership working. We understand better the potential triggers that can cause violence, we have an intervention strategy that aims to educate people around the dangers of weapons from a young age, provide alternatives to gangs, and we work hard on enforcement for those that insist on being involved in violent crime and illegal activity.
Q: How can communities help?
A: Communities hold the key to helping reduce firearm related crime.
Information from witnesses and local communities is vital if we are to obtain the evidence we need to arrest and prosecute offenders.
We know that sometimes more people will share more information when there is a serious trigger offence, but we are working to gain trust and confidence so communities feel they can share and report any issues at any time.
Q: How will the Firearms Surrender help?
A: Every gun given up is one less that criminals can use.
Q: What about the rights of legal firearms holders during the Surrender?
A: The rights of legal firearms holders are unaffected. License-holders can be reassured that these measures merely enhance their rights and privileges to own firearms, by removing the dangerous ones from the wrong hands. They are also encouraged to use this Surrender to consider the surrender of firearms they may no longer have a use for.