Hampshire’s Gun Amnesty

In the light of the current police amnesty on firearms, it is often forgotten that there are significantly more legitimate firearm users and weapons collectors than there are people with criminal intent.

Current regulations within the UK are very strict compared to many other parts of the world, but the authorities do like to err on the cautious side and continue the myth that all guns are dangerous, all guns are illegal. This is not true.

There is a very large group of legitimate gun owners and gun users. Shooting clubs exist all around the country and many, including the Bisley range, offer exceptional training and service to gun users. The smaller airgun clubs also teach good practice and remove the myths and fears surrounding guns.

Also there is a large group of antique and historic weapons collectors, these enthusiasts keep the history of antique militaria and civilian weaponry alive. The craftsmanship and metalworking techniques of gun manufacturers of the 15th-18th century assisted metalworking for the medical and scientific instrument development right up to the early 20th century.

Most modern firearms are illegal to own without the correct licensing, most antique guns are perfectly legitimate to own as a curiosity item. Owning them with the intent to use them is criminal in all but a few cases. If you are in possession of a firearm and do not know if you need a licensing, you should seek advice. Some of these firearms should be destroyed to stop them falling into the wrong hands.

Some have a legitimate historic or collectors appeal. These should not be destroyed, they do not need to be handed into the Police for destruction. A trip to your local antiques shop, auction house, registered firearms dealer or police firearms officer should be all it takes to clarify.

If you choose to take your guns to the Police station, please ask them to check their legality before you surrender them.

The Police have to destroy surrendered weapons. Sometimes that is a travesty.

Items asked to be surrendered include de-activated guns, airguns, flintlock and percussion weapons, rifles and handguns that use ammunition no longer available. Most of these are perfectly legal to own under set conditions. Mostly no licence is required just good management. Lets get illegal and unwanted guns off the streets and out of houses. Take advice, know what you have and make an educated, well informed decision. Always remember safety first, but your gun may have significant value and that value will vanish if the police destroy it.

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