October amnesty for gun owners

Police across B.C. are offering amnesty in October for gun owners looking to get rid of weapons

Photo shows some of the weapons turned in to Kamloops RCMP during the 2013 gun amnesty.

Photo shows some of the weapons turned in to Kamloops RCMP during the 2013 gun amnesty.

By Tim Petruk

Kamloops This Week

Police across B.C. are offering amnesty in October for gun owners looking to get rid of weapons — even if they are illegal.

“It’s a safe way for the public to dispose of weapons,” Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said.

“It just provides an opportunity to reduce the number of firearms in our community. People who have weapons or imitation weapons or ammunition they no longer want, whether legally or not, they can call us and we’ll come bring it in.”

Shelkie said police are accepting any firearms, ammunition or explosives — no questions asked.

In two previous amnesties, one in 2006 and another in 2013, police received a number of items that could have otherwise resulted in criminal charges — two machine guns, a rocket launcher, a missile and 200 handguns.

Mike Morris, B.C.’s minister of public safety, said the amnesty period is intended to not only take guns off the streets, but also make it more difficult for weapons and ammunition to fall into the wrong hands.

“We know that firearms, weapons and ammunition are often stolen during break-ins,” he said.

“For those wondering how to safely dispose of their unwanted firearms, like that rifle they inherited that is now collecting dust in the basement, this month-long amnesty is the perfect opportunity to keep a potentially deadly weapon or firearm from landing in the wrong hands.”

According to Shelkie, the majority of weapons turned over during amnesty are destroyed. Some, she said, are kept for educational and training purposes.

Shelkie asked anyone looking to turn in a weapon to call the Kamloops RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-828-3068 to arrange to have a Mountie pick it up.

Weapons are not to be dropped off at the detachment. The amnesty period began on Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 31.