By Dean Weingarten
Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- 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.