A firearms amnesty across Devon means anyone who has any unwanted firearms can hand them in without being arrested for illegal possession.

Devon and Cornwall Police is urging the public to surrender illegal or unwanted firearms without facing prosecution during a firearms amnesty.

During the amensty period, from November 13-26, those handing in firearms or ammunition will not be arrested for illegal possession at the point of surrender and they can remain anonymous.

The history of each live weapon will be checked for evidence of prior use associated with crime.

During the last firearms surrender in November 2014, Devon and Cornwall Police received 446 weapons and 15,721 rounds of ammunition.

Michelle Mounsey, firearms and explosives licensing manager for the Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance, said: “We want to take out of circulation any type of firearm and ammunition, which includes guns which can still be fired, antique or unwanted collectible weapons, replica weapons, air weapons, BB guns, stun guns and ammunition that are no longer required.

“Remember that outside of the surrender period if police find you in possession of a firearm without a current certificate then you may be subject of court proceedings which may lead to a custodial sentence.”

Have you got any unwanted firearms?

Many firearms may be overlooked or forgotten in people’s homes.

These include trophies of war which have been inherited from a relative or even stored in the loft with the presumption that they are out of harm’s way, or guns thought to be harmless antiques. All can be handed in.

Some people may possess guns that they do not realise are held illegally.

This particularly applies to anyone who is serving or who has served a custodial sentence.

Essentially, if anyone has received a suspended/custodial or youth detention sentence of more than three months but less than three years, they cannot possess a firearm or ammunition for five years after release.

If the sentence was of three years or more, then you would become a prohibited person under the Firearms Act and can never possess any type of firearm or ammunition. This applies to antique items as well.

‘If you’re in doubt, surrender it’

Michelle added: “The message then is clear - if you have even a shadow of doubt about the legality of a weapon or ammunition that you possess we urge you to hand it in during the surrender.”

Anyone handing in firearms or ammunition during the surrender period is advised to check the opening times of their nearest participating police enquiry office.

Members of the public concerned about transporting items to participating police stations can also seek advice on how to do so by emailing 101@dc.police.uk

Participating offices include Heavitree Road in Exeter and Barnstaple Police Station.