British Police: Two Week Conditional Amnesty for Gun Turn In

By Dean Weingarten

British Police: Two Week Conditional Amnesty for Gun Turn In

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -( Crime involving guns is on the rise in England and Wales. There has been a 27 percent increase through June of 2017, compared to the previous year, according to the BBC.

The response of the British police has been to declare a two week “gun surrender” that is a sort of amnesty to turn in illegally owned guns.

People are assured that they will “not automatically be charged, but will be if they are later connected to a crime.”  It does not sound reassuring to me, but the British are known to be extremely law abiding and trusting of their police.

6,000 weapons were turned in in 2014, in the last gun turn in.   Many of the guns turned in are BB guns and air rifles.


Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan said police were “realistic” that they were “not going to get hardened gang members” surrendering their arms.

But she added: “This is part of our response to try and make it as difficult as possible for those people to come into possession of any type of weapon at all.

“You don't have to give your name or address, we just want more guns out of harm's way.”

Illegally-held BB-guns, air weapons, rifles, shotguns or pistols are among the weapons police say should be handed in by the 26 November cut-off.

Police think some people come across weapons when clearing the houses of relatives and may not know what to do with them.

They will get some world class antiques. Some English double rifles and shotguns are worth six figures. While I was in Australia at the Shot Show in Brisbane this year, I was able to see a custom made three barrel side by side 20 gauge shotgun.  It gave hunters one more shot than the classic double barrel shotgun. The price: $100,000 Australian.

Not many classic Holland and Holland double shotguns and double rifles will be turned in, but strange things happen. It is not unlikely that an older widow would turn in her grandfather's double, without first getting it appraised. It has happened often in the United States.

The photograph above was put out by the British police as examples of what they expected to be turned in. There was no mention of compensation of any kind.

The guns shown as examples in the photograph are:

  • Top –  Remington 12 Ga. 870 pump shotgun with extended magazine. ($300)
  • Middle – Lee-Enfield No. 4 .303 British military rifle.  ($400)
  • Bottom left  – American Thompson Submachine gun with 30 rd magazine ($30,000)
  • Top pistol – German Luger ($1,000-$3,000)
  • Middle pistol – Tranter .380 revolver, missing center pin/ejector rod. ($1,000)
  • Bottom pistol – Webley MKVI war finish .455 service revolver ($1,000)

Prices are from the American market. European market prices tend to be higher.

During the recent gun amnesty in Australia, I observed about 25 percent of the guns turned in were air guns.  Air rifles have been very popular in England and Wales for target shooting and pest control. They were mostly unregulated and available by mail order until 2006. In the United States, BB guns and air rifles are generally not regulated as weapons.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 12 thoughts on “British Police: Two Week Conditional Amnesty for Gun Turn In

    1. If the cops knew you had it, they’d come for it. Asking for guns to be voluntarily surrendered is an admission that they have no idea who has what. So, if they don’t know you got it, screw ’em, keep it.

    2. The British attitude toward firearms is historically one of fear by the “ruling class” that should the common folk be armed, then insurrection against the social order would soon follow. This was especially prevalent after “The Great War” when it was feared that the survivors of the slaughter on the Western Front, trained in the effective use of firearms, would pose a severe threat to those of the elite that were seen as responsible for the great loss of life (Sir Douglas Haig must have been terrified). The use of illegal firearms in the Irish Rebellion that was forcing the end of British domination of southern Ireland was used as an example of the potential threat to the nobility and moneyed classes of easy access to guns by the ordinary citizens of the Crown. Ironically, this was concurrent with the Weimar Republic in Germany enacting gun control regulations in the hope of limiting the ability of radical political groups (especially those comprised of disaffected veterans of WWI) to create fear and chaos. In Germany gun control did nothing to prevent the rise of Hitler and the Nazis who actually expanded the regulations after gaining power, thereby stripping the population of any effective method of rebellion against the regime. In Britain it reinforced the power of the Monarchy (many of whom were sympathetic to the rise of Nazism and Fascism) and created a situation that when most of Europe had fallen to Hitler and invasion was imminent, England didn’t have enough small arms available to properly defend the island and had to ask America to donate firearms to arm the British Home Guard.

    3. Given that some “turn-in” guns WILL wind up in the collections of various officers, bureaucrats, and other government trolls, I’d be inclined to bury, chop up, or throw into the ocean an “illegal” gun I wanted to dispose of before I handed it over.

    4. I wonder how many American owned guns that were “lent” to the Brits during WW2 were turned in and destroyed in this manner? I know a good portion of the guns were never returned to their American citizen owners. Many of those guns were family heirlooms that Americans generously transferred to the Brits to protect their “homeland” from invasion.

      1. Next time the English desperately need weapons to defend their Island from an invasion they might wish that the good people still had their arms.
        The movie DUNKIRK is out now, pretty well done. The British boatsmen saved the British Army from the beach at Dunkirk but almost all the rifles, machine guns and artillery were left for the Germans , hopefully burned or dumped in the Channel.

        I guess if there is another European War, teh US will have to save the stupid Brits again.

    5. The United States had to loan England guns during WW2 because they didn’t have very many in civilian hands let alone their military I guess they don’t remember their own history.
      With the rise of radical groups and terrorists like Isis why are they even asking for more gun’s to be turned in.

    6. If it’s anything like, so-called, “Gun Buy Back” (oxymoron as “they” never bought them in the first place) criminals will have their girlfriends drop off murder weapons and guns used in other crimes that will then be destroyed and never traced back to the criminal

      How stupid, or criminal (intentionally destroying evidence of a crime) it that?

    7. I’m tired of both the Wankers Britannia and our domestic variants. I used to have hope for them,but both hope and sympathy are long gone.
      Remember-thia is the template our ” betters” wish to throw over us all here.

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