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Thursday 09 November 2017, 11:37 AM

Gloucestershire Constabulary is supporting a national campaign to encourage members of the public to surrender firearms and other prohibited weapons.

Operation Aztec is being organised by NABIS (National Ballistics Intelligence Service) and will run from Monday 13 November to Sunday 26 November. 

During that time members of the public can hand in any firearm or imitation gun, stun gun, incapacitant spray or ammunition to a number of nominated locations across the force area.

The aim of the operation is to safely remove from circulation as many unwanted firearms as possible to prevent them falling into the wrong hands.

Those surrendering guns and prohibited weapons during the two week campaign will not face prosecution for illegal possession of a firearm at the point of surrender and they can remain anonymous.

Chief Inspector Jason Keates said: "We are happy to be supporting this national campaign which is a continuation of work carried out by the force on a day to day basis.

"The kind of weapons we normally expect to receive are guns which people find in lofts during house clearances or which have been kept or bought as souvenirs of war.

"Licensed firearms holders can also take the opportunity to hand in any guns they no longer require.

"This year, as well as encouraging people to hand in traditional firearms we are especially keen to receive items which people have bought innocently from other countries without realising that they are illegal here.

"These include stun guns, some disguised as torches or mobile phones, which are sold legally on the continent as self-defence tools to protect individuals from violent attackers or animals, and pepper sprays often sold handbag sized and aimed at women.

"Apart from the harm they may cause these are not legal in the UK and anyone found in possession of one faces punishment - in the case of concealed weapons (ie those made to look like something else) there is a mandatory jail sentence with a minimum of five yearsimprisonment.

"I want to encourage people to make the most of these next two weeks to get rid of those found, or innocently acquired firearms and weapons.

"They can be assured that they will not face prosecution for illegal possession of a firearm at the point of surrender.

"However, this is a firearms surrender, not a firearms amnesty, and I want to reassure communities in Gloucestershire that we will continue to vigorously investigate criminal offences linked to any item recovered."

Members of the public can hand unwanted firearms in to the following police stations:

Barton Street, Gloucester

Cirencester

Coleford

Hester's Way, Cheltenham

Stroud

 If you are unable to do so contact Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101, or email 101@gloucestershire.police.uk and mention Operation Aztec.

 

 

 

 

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