Launched yesterday, members of the public have two weeks to hand in weapons and ammunition as part of the ‘surrender’ scheme without fear of prosecution for illegal possession.
The aim is to reduce the number of weapons falling into the wrong hands and being used to terrorise members of the public.
South Yorkshire Police said: “SYP is taking part in a national firearm surrender to reduce the amount of guns and ammunition on the streets that could potentially fall into the hands of criminals and have devastating consequences.
“It is illegal to possess a firearm without a licence issued by the police. Many firearms are held illegally due to ignorance of the law, or fear of the consequences. Others can make their way into the wrong hands and become distributed and used by organised criminals, causing fear and harm in our communities.
“Criminals will seek out opportunities to gain guns from innocent members of the public, such as during burglaries, and utilise these weapons. By reducing the amount of weapons out there, we are reducing the chance of circulation.”
The surrender gives people the chance to dispose of unwanted guns safely without fear of prosecution for illegal possession but it does not provide immunity from prosecution for the life of the weapon. If a gun or ammunition is believed to have been used in previous criminal activity, it will be fully investigated.
The last firearms surrender in 2019 saw SYP receive 76 items – a mixture of shotguns, rifles, BB guns, imitation firearms and ammunition.
Detective Inspector Anthony Slater, of the Armed Crime Team, said: “When a firearm falls into the wrong hands it can have devastating consequences, and sadly we have seen this within South Yorkshire.
“This is the public’s opportunity to help us in creating safer streets and reducing the amount of weapons that have the potential to ruin lives.
“Together we are stronger in fighting organised crime and I urge anyone who has a firearm being kept illegally or a firearm they need to safely dispose of to contact us and hand it in to your nearest police station.”
Firearms can be handed in at the following police stations:
Snig Hill in Sheffield - S3 8LY
Ecclesfield in Sheffield - S35 9WL
Moss Way in Sheffield - S20 7XX
Main Street in Rotherham - S60 1QY
Churchfield in Barnsley - S70 2DL
College Road in Doncaster - DN1 3BU
South Yorkshire Police added: “We advise that anyone travelling to a police station to surrender their firearm do so in a responsible manner. Please carry the firearm unloaded and in a bag, not causing fear among the public.
“If you are having difficulty in taking your firearm to your local station please call 101 for assistance.
“This is a firearms and ammunition surrender only, not all weapons will be accepted.”