London, Great Britain—The UK Metropolitan Police is exchanging amnesty for weapons; it’s the second and final week of a scheme called the “National Gun Surrender.” People who possess an illegal firearm or ammunition can anonymously turn them in and receive amnesty.
Hitherto, more than 250 illegal firearms have been given to various police departments. They include five machine guns, including a heavy GPMG and a Bren light machine gun from World War II, 31 shotguns, 30 handguns and six rifles. People have also handed in 48 air guns. More than 4,000 rounds of ammunition have been given to the police.
“We are very pleased with the public response to the first week of the gun surrender,” said Detective Superintendent Mike Balcombe, assigned to the Trident and Area Crime Command.
Most of the weapons are destroyed by police armorers. However, historical finds, such as the two WWII machine guns, will most probably find their way to a museum.
The National Gun Surrender ends this Sunday.
Although the UK has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world, this doesn’t translate to fewer violent crime incidents. In 2017, for example, knife crime has increased by 24% from 2016. The police have thus far recorded close to 13,000 incidents involving a knife. It therefore appears that if a person wishes to commit a crime, he’ll do it regardless if he’s a gun.
The UK has extremely restrictive gun control laws, perhaps some of the strictest in the world. To own a gun, one must file an ocean of paperwork and submit himself to an array of assessments. One is also limited to just handguns and shotguns; assault rifles are banned.
Only recently, SAS Sergeant Danny Nightingale was jailed by a court-martial for possessing a Glock 9mm, which he brought home from Iraq. After a lengthy and costly, both financially and emotionally, campaign, Sgt. Nightingale’s verdict was amended to a two-year detention.
Featured image courtesy of Twitter via the Broad Green Police