Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands Police gun surrender collects 131 weapons

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Media captionThe amnesty follows tougher firearms legislation introduced last month

More than 100 guns have been handed in as part of a two-week firearms surrender by West Midlands Police.

The haul includes shotguns, rifles, pistols and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. It follows tougher firearms legislation introduced last month.

The force said anyone who handed weapons in to police stations from 19 July to 2 August would not face prosecution for possession.

All guns, however, are being tested for evidence of use in crimes.

Ruger Redhawk

Det Insp Andy Bannister, who led the gun surrender, said: "It's been a huge success - that's 131 fewer firearms that could end up on the hands of criminals.

"Some of the weapons seized are, I suspect, from exactly the kinds of people we wanted to reach out to... people who under the new legislation are risking life behind bars by looking after guns for friends, relatives or partners through some misguided loyalty.

"Every gun taken off the streets is potentially a life saved."

Changes in the law in July increased the maximum jail sentence for illegal possession of a firearm from 10 years to life and included antique firearms, amid fears they were being converted for use in crimes.

The weapons handed in included .38 revolvers, self-loading pistols, a .44 Ruger Redhawk magnum as well as antique weapons such as an 1853 rifle, Webley and Enfield revolvers, a 1915 German Luger and a Japanese type 26 revolver.

The firearms will either be destroyed at the West Midlands Police armoury or kept for training purposes.

The force said there had been a drop in the number of fatal shootings in the West Midlands in the past decade.

A similar gun surrender in 2003 saw more than 1,200 firearms and 53,000 rounds of ammunition handed over.

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