Sussex gun owners surrender their weapons

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FIFTY-EIGHT handguns were surrendered in Sussex after police ran a drive to get people to hand in the weapons.

Between November 10 and 21 Sussex and Surrey police forces ran a campaign in which people were encouraged to take any unwanted weaponry to a police station for disposal.

In Sussex, 58 handguns, 17 rifles, 53 airguns and 104 shotguns were handed in, along with almost 1,000 shotgun cartridges and more than 4,000 bullets and other types of ammunition.

Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, the head of operations command across Sussex Police and Surrey Police, said: “The surrender has led to more than 300 firearms being taken out of circulation and although there’s no suggestion that any were involved in crime, all of them had the potential to be dangerous if they fell into the wrong hands.

“I am grateful to all those who handed in firearms and ammunition. They have helped us make Sussex and Surrey even safer by reducing the chance of criminals getting their hands on weapons.”

Sussex Police said each of the weapons was examined and made safe by firearms officers. Although the surrender has ended, anyone with a firearm who wishes to dispose of it can still call 101 or email and ask for the firearms licensing unit, which will give them advice.

New legislation that came into effect on July 14 increased the maximum jail term for illegal gun possession from ten years to life.