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Firearms surrender

We take public safety seriously and urge members of the public to hand over unlicensed or unwanted firearms, ammunition or imitation guns without the threat of prosecution.

Responsible ownership and the use of firearms or imitations rarely causes anyone to fear for their safety or come to any harm. Although problems can occur if a firearm falls into the wrong hands.

Do not attempt to dispose of or destroy a firearm, shotgun, ammunition or related equipment yourself. You must surrender or hand over these types of weapons or related equipment to us as we must account for every licensed weapon.

Surrender, destroy or dispose of a firearm

Voluntary surrender is free. Our officers will accept and dispose of anything that is, or looks like, a firearm where it could cause someone to fear for their safety.

You may find the surrender scheme useful if you;

  • are a licence holder but no longer use your firearm, imitation gun or ammunition
  • have inherited a firearm, imitation gun or ammunition and do not have a certificate
  • have found a firearm, imitation gun or ammunition that you forgot you had
  • have a criminal record and own a firearm, imitation gun or ammunition, including antiques.

Section 1 ammunition can also be handed in to your local police station, disposed of through a registered firearms dealer or an authorised firearms certificate holder, whose certificate authorises the possession and the amount of the calibre concerned.

Taking unwanted firearms to a police station

You can hand in unwanted firearms, air weapons, imitations or ammunition to any of our police stations.

Before bringing any unwanted items to a police station, we ask that it is unloaded and you’re able to show an officer that it is unloaded. If you’re unsure how to do this, one of our officers can help you.

We also advise that you transport a firearm, air weapon or imitation in a case or ensure it is properly covered.

If you’re unable to attend a police station, we can visit your home to recover any firearms you wish to surrender by contacting us online or call us on 101

Destroying a weapon

After you have handed in a firearm, imitation or ammunition, we will destroy the weapon. Some weapons may not be destroyed if it is considered to be of historical interest, which will be offered to a museum or other official body.

Deactivating a weapon 

You can have a weapon deactivated, which must be done by a registered firearms dealer and examined at a proof house. The proof house will proof mark the weapon and issue it with a deactivation certificate.

Once deactivated, the weapon is no longer considered a firearm as it will be incapable of being fired, or being reactivated. Deactivating a weapon must be done officially by a professional. 

You must keep the proof house certificate safe as the weapon is not considered to be held legally unless you have both;

  • a proof house mark on the gun
  • the relevant proof house certificate. 

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