Deadly arsenal handed in

Supt Jon Puttock shows some of the guns seized off Lancashire's streets ahead of a weapon amnesty.
Supt Jon Puttock shows some of the guns seized off Lancashire's streets ahead of a weapon amnesty.
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A campaign to get deadly guns off the streets on the Fylde coast has been extended due to the overwhelming public response.

Dozens of weapons and hundreds of rounds of live ammunition have been handed in at police stations across Lancashire since the gun surrender was launched by police on Monday.

The weapons include a 
working handgun, along with ammunition, and an air 
rifle that were handed in at St Annes police station.

In Fleetwood, a replica revolver, boxes of .22 Rimfire bullets and a vast amount of shotgun ammunition have been surrendered.

The campaign is the first time in nine years that Lancashire Police has asked members of the public to surrender unlawfully held guns.

It follows a change in the law last year that imposes tougher punishments on those caught illegally possessing a firearm.

Supt Jon Puttock said: “Police officers are called to attend reports of people seen in public places with firearms on a regular basis.

“There are still unlawfully held firearms in the county, be it trophy or antique weapons such as from military conflict, or firearms which people have acquired from a relative.

“People may have firearms that belong to other people, who have inherited them, or may have been overlooked or forgotten.”

Anyone taking part in the surrender will be safe from prosecution and can remain anonymous if they wish. However, the history of live weapons will be checked for evidence of use in crimes.

Across the county, 55 ballistic weapons – including several handguns and a stungun disguised as a torch – have been handed in so far.

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “The penalties for illegal possession of a firearm are severe – and the consequences could be even greater if they subsequently fall into the wrong hands. We are fortunate that gun crime in Lancashire remains low, however in order to keep it that way we need to ensure we are not complacent.”

Guns can be handed in at police stations in: Fleetwood, North Church Street; Poulton, Market Place; Blackpool, Bonny Street; Bispham, Red Bank Road; Kirkham, Freckleton Street; and St Annes, St Andrews Road North.