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Deadly weapons handed in during firearms surrender

In all 116 pistols, rifles and shotguns were handed in to West Midlands Police, much of it lethal weaponry

Deadly weaponry and hundreds of rounds of live ammunition have been handed in during a firearms surrender.

The haul of 116 pistols, rifles and shotguns was voluntarily handed over at collection points across the West Midlands in a three-week period.

West Midlands Police organised the surrender during a lethal spike in violence and gun crime.

Firearms on display at the West Midlands Police headquarters in Birmingham (Richard Vernalls/PA)

The force extended the period by which weaponry could be handed in by a week, as trouble flared.

Across the region there were two fatal shootings and at least seven gun discharges, leaving four other people injured, between May 12 and the beginning as June.

In the same period, there were 12 knife attacks, including two fatal stabbings of teenagers in separate incidents in Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

Latest figures by the Office for National Statistics showed there were 13 gun offences per 100,000 residents in the West Midlands, with the national average sitting at 11.

A legally held Hatsan Escort pump-action shotgun (right), ornately-engraved hunting shotguns, and a pump-action rifle (centre), among weaponry handed in (Richard Vernalls/PA)

Among weaponry handed in was a Turkish-made, 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun, and two hunting shotguns featuring exquisitely detailed engraving on the trigger mechanisms.

Also handed over were batches of Second World War-era .303 Lee Enfield rifle rounds, shotgun cartridges, and hollow-point .22 ammunition – all of it lethal in the wrong hands.

Among the more unusual items surrendered was a long-barrelled parlour gun, favoured by gentlemen and popular on indoor firing ranges at the turn of the last century, and two rusting wartime flare guns.

Also among the weaponry now being catalogued and examined by police experts were sawn-off shotguns.

A long-barrel parlour gun and two Second World War-era flare pistols were among the haul (Richard Vernalls/PA)

In all, 34 lethal or convertible and potentially lethal guns were handed in, along with other imitation and air weapons.

The weaponry will all be first scrutinised to see if it can be linked to any crimes, and then safely destroyed at a secure site.

The force also stressed it was also tackling the criminals willing to use such deadly weaponry with proactive patrols, seizures and house searches based on intelligence.

Officers have been carrying out so-called Section 60 stops and searches in the east of Birmingham recently and have recovered knives, machetes and other weaponry.

An Italian-made Bruni 8mm pistol, and ammunition clip (Richard Vernalls/PA)

Detective Inspector Rod Rose, of West Midlands Police, said: “Coming just six months after our last firearms surrender which saw 245 weapons handed in, this is a significant result and shows that there are still firearms out there which could be lethal in the wrong hands.

“We are continuing our crackdown on violent crime using Section 60 powers, which allow us to stop and search anyone we think may be involved in criminality and violence.

“We regularly carry out weapon sweeps and warrants, with two handguns recovered in Quinton, Birmingham, just last week.

“And we are continuing our work with young people who may be on the cusp of becoming involved in gang culture through our Precious Lives project where thousands of schoolchildren have seen a hard-hitting presentation on the dangers of carrying weapons.”

The force said it had been proactively targeting criminals willing to use illegal firearms (Richard Vernalls/PA)

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: “Guns ruin lives and have a devastating impact on the communities of the West Midlands.

“Every weapon handed in is potentially a life saved. The region is a safer place with these weapons no longer on the streets, as there is always the potential they could fall into the wrong hands.”

Press Association

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