Police display weapons collected from a rural Nanaimo residence during a search warrant in 2009. A province-wide gun amnesty throughout October will allow unlicensed gun owners to turn unwanted weapons over to police.

Unload unwanted weapons during gun amnesty

NANAIMO - October gun amnesty offers chance to clean house of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

The RCMP in B.C. will set their sights on unlicensed weapons throughout the coming month.

In October, the B.C. government is offering people across the province the opportunity to unload unlicensed and unwanted weapons with the police.

This last firearms amnesty was offered in 2013.

“In the 2013 amnesty, we had approximately 150 firearms turned in, with two very interesting firearms –  one being an S.S. Luger, still in its original holster as well as a Centennial firearm,” said Sgt. Sheryl Armstrong, Nanaimo RCMP spokeswoman. “Both of those went to the Vancouver Island Military Museum.”

Across the province, more than 1,800 firearms and 30,000 rounds of ammunition were collected.

“In the previous one we had a lot of military guys, like war vets in their late 80s, early 90s and probably nobody in the family wanted [their firearms] so they didn’t know what to do with them, so they turned them in,” Armstrong said.

Good examples of rare or historic weapons can be signed over to military museums with the owner’s permission.

People who want to turn in firearms are asked not to bring them down to the Nanaimo RCMP detachment, but to call the RCMP detachment and arrange for police to collect them.

“Do not come to the detachment,” Armstrong said. “Please call.”

It is a federal offence in Canada for anyone without a valid firearms possession and acquisition license to be in possession of a firearm.

The immunity from prosecution does not apply to anyone who, when detained or arrested by the police is found to be in possession of a firearm, weapon, prohibited device or prohibited ammunition.

The immunity also does not apply if a firearm, weapon or device that was voluntarily surrendered has been used for a criminal purpose.

Anyone in Nanaimo who would like to surrender weapons, including imitation and replica weapons, and ammunition, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and arrangements will be made for a RCMP officer to come out to the caller’s residence to take possession of the items.

When calling, please have a basic description of the items to be surrendered.

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