4 Apr 2016 – They just can’t help themselves, can they? Police in Merseyside are running a gun surrender campaign and want collectors to hand in legally owned deactivated and replica firearms.
While the campaign broadly targets all firearms – with the qualifier “illegal firearms” being used from time to time – it is this quote from Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Holland which is the most problematic:
In recent years there have been some changes in legislation in relation to antique firearms and some people may also have replica and decommissioned firearms in their homes because they have inherited them, or have a genuine interest in collecting military weapons and paraphernalia.
These weapons could be targeted by those involved in serious and organised crime who may see the opportunities of converting and using them in criminality.
So if you do own any weapons like this, think long and hard about the potential consequences. In the wrong hands, these guns can be reactivated and used to cause fear and intimidation, or even worse could be used to seriously injure, or kill, someone. Every gun surrendered is one less that can be used by criminals to commit serious offences.
The changes in law are that people who have received suspended sentences can no longer own antiques. But reading this tosh, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d been made illegal to own in some obscure way.
Earlier up the offending press release is this line: “The surrender gives the chance to dispose of the firearm or ammunition with no questions asked, by simply taking it to a local police station and handing it in – before a police operation to retrieve them takes place.”
In plain English, Merseyside Police want collectors and families with deactivated war trophies to hand them over before police gunmen break into their homes anyway.
Perish the thought that antiques, deactivated firearms and replicas are all perfectly legal to own and keep at home.