Nearly 300 firearms surrendered to Northumbria Police

Some of the firearms surrendered to Northumbria Police.
Some of the firearms surrendered to Northumbria Police.
Share this article

A total of 280 firearms – including more than 100 air weapons and a number of historical pieces – have been handed in to Northumbria Police as part of a national surrender.

The two-week operation, which ended on Sunday, gave members of the public the opportunity to safely dispose of guns and ammunition.

Northumbria Police received 280 firearms.

Northumbria Police received 280 firearms.

Firearms received include a shotgun disguised as a walking stick, various pieces from the First and Second World Wars, an 1890 revolver and a small number of guns which had not been correctly deactivated.

The initiative, named Operation Aztec, gave people the opportunity to hand in weapons and ammunition without facing prosecution for illegal possession.

If it is suspected that prior to its surrender a firearm had been used in criminality offences it will be vigorously investigated.

The surrender also encouraged the handing in of replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns and imitation firearms. These types of weapons can be very realistic in appearance, can be used in crime and are restricted depending on the circumstances.

Three machine guns.

Three machine guns.

The Force saw the following items handed in: Pistols: 6; Revolvers: 8; Rifles: 22; Shotguns: 92; Imitation / Blank firer: 40; Air weapons: 102; Other (including ornamental, taser & flare gun): 10

Chief Inspector Dave Gould, Northumbria Police’s lead for the surrender, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their support in making this a successful operation.

“We are fortunate that within the Northumbria Police area we have a low number of firearm-related crimes.

“A number of the guns surrendered are believed to be veteran war pieces, some overlooked or forgotten about and some inherited by families who have been unsure of what to do with them. These families have welcomed the opportunity to safely dispose of them out of harm’s way.”

He added: “We will continue to use intelligence and a proactive approach to target criminal use of firearms.

“Removing guns as well as ammunition from our communities reduces the risk of them getting into the wrong hands and the possibility of them being used in crime.”

While the majority of items received will be destroyed, pieces of special interest or historical value may be retained in museums.