Qualifying weapons may be eligible for government compensation
Owners of weapons made illegal under the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 are being encouraged to surrender them under a scheme launched by the government.
These weapons include, among others, rapid firing rifles, bump stocks, knuckledusters, flick knives and zombie knives.
Qualifying weapons surrendered to the police may be eligible for government compensation (last day is 9 March 2021). Details of the compensation scheme and a full list of qualifying weapons are available on the government website.
Supt Clare Smith, deputy head of Criminal Justice for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, said:
“It is important the public understands that these weapons, which were previously lawful to own privately, are now illegal and must be surrendered.
“These are dangerous weapons and taking them out of private ownership will help keep communities safe and prevent them from falling into criminal hands.
“There will be people who own these weapons as trophy pieces with no intention of ever using them. The law still applies and the surrender campaign is an opportunity for them to hand in these weapons and potentially be compensated by the government for their loss.”
Detective Chief Inspector Aaron Kiff said:
“As a force, we are completely behind the Home Office’s weapon surrender as more often than not, serious incidents occur when a weapon falls into the wrong hands.
“Our Boson team is dedicated to tackling gun violence, gang activity, and serious youth violence and as a result, has helped achieve a nine per cent reduction in serious youth violence in Bedfordshire to the end of March 2020, which equates to around 200 fewer victims in high vulnerability communities.
“We want to continue seeing these figures reduce, and will do all we can to get such weapons off our streets, which in turn will allow our communities to feel safer.
“It is illegal to carry a gun, even if it is an imitation one, and you could face five years in prison if you choose to do this.
“This is why we would urge anyone who has an unlicensed or unwanted firearm, ammunition or knives, to take this opportunity to hand it in during this time.”
To surrender a weapon please email firstname.lastname@example.org and the weapons surrender team will be in touch to arrange collection.
They will also send you a compensation form, which must be fully completed and returned at the point of surrender in order to qualify for reimbursement from the government.
If you are unable to email, please call 101 and the weapons surrender team will call you back.