Today, Monday June 18th, Police Scotland launched its Firearms Surrender Campaign – allowing people in who have firearms and ammunition for which they do not hold a valid certificate to surrender them to police without fear of prosecution for possession.
The gun amnesty will run until Sunday, July 1st, and both Police Stations at Stornoway and Benbecula are Surrender Locations, where people can hand over firearms and ammunition, as well as replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, component parts and other ballistic items.
Assistance Chief Constable, Bernard Higgins, of Police Scotland, said: “Protecting the public sits at the heart of everything we do and the purpose of the Firearms Surrender Campaign is to remove firearms from criminal availability, thereby reducing the risks of harm to the public and our communities.
“Similarly if people still have unwanted air weapons that are unlicensed, or have come across old firearms while clearing out a house, these can be surrendered during the campaign.
“We want to reassure the public that all reasonable steps are being taken to reduce the amount of illegally held firearms within the public arena.”
Commenting on the gun amnesty, Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, said: “We will continue working with partners including the police to protect Scotland’s communities by removing the risk posed by illegal firearms.
“Anybody surrendering a firearm or other relevant item during Police Scotland’s two week campaign will not be prosecuted for simple possession of the item. The immunity only applies to handover of the weapon and not to any other offence it may be linked to after examination.”
And Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, added: “Firearms offences are at historically low levels in Scotland. Nonetheless, there is always a risk that unused or unlicensed firearms could fall into the wrong hands.
“I therefore welcome Police Scotland’s campaign to remove unwanted weapons from our communities, and would urge anyone who has a firearm that they have no good reason for keeping to take this opportunity to safely surrender it to the police.”
In the Western Isles, any firearms, ammunition, and other ballistic items can be surrender to police at Stornoway Police Station (18 Church Street, Stornoway, open 0700 to midnight, seven days a week) and Benbecula Police Station (Balivanich, Isle of Benbecula, open 0900 to 1230, Monday to Friday).