Opinion Former Article

Do you have cash in the attic from unwanted firearms?

BASC is urging members to be aware of the unexpected value of unwanted guns ahead of the start of a national firearms surrender campaign later this month.

The campaign (November 13-26) asks people to hand in unwanted guns and ammunition at designated police stations. Those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession and can remain anonymous.

But Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms and a regular valuation expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, advises members not to hand over guns without first checking their financial or historical value.

Mr Harriman said: "BASC applauds any initiative that stops guns falling into the hands of criminals, but our advice is to first be certain you are not giving away a valuable antique firearm.

"All too often I see pictures of police officers with surrendered firearms that may be legally owned and which are valuable.

“The police will say that the Museums Weapons Group looks over all surrendered firearms and retains historically important ones for museum use.

“That is of little consolation to someone who has been encouraged into giving up their lawfully-owned valuable property.

“BASC’s firearms team is always happy to advise members in confidence and a mobile phone photo is often enough for us to make a positive identification."

The surrender initiative is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).

Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton, head of NABIS, said: “Surrendering unwanted or illegal firearms avoids the risk of them becoming involved in crime and means that they can be disposed of in a safe manner."

ENDS

For more information, please contact BASC’s press office on 01244 573007 or email press@basc.org.uk

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