Firearms Surrender

Firearms surrender

Dorset Police and Devon & Cornwall Police are asking the public to surrender illegally held or unwanted firearms and ammunition.

The surrender period runs from 13 November until 26 November 2017.

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The following police stations can receive firearms and ammunition under the conditions of the firearms surrender during opening hours:

  • Bournemouth
  • Poole
  • Weymouth

Please do not leave firearms or ammunition outside these or any other police premises outside of opening hours or you may be liable for prosecution.

If you have any questions or concerns about transporting firearms and ammunition safely, or cannot come to one of these offices, please visit our Do it Online pages and fill in the form, for further advice or to arrange collection.

During the surrender period those handing in firearms or ammunition will not face prosecution for illegal possession and they can remain anonymous.

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

Why are we doing this?

We want to take out of circulation any type of firearm and ammunition and make our communities safer.

  • Guns which can still be fired
  • Antique or unwanted collectible weapons
  • Trophies of war
  • Replica weapons
  • Air weapons
  • BB guns
  • Stun guns
  • Ammunition which is no longer required

This is an opportunity to surrender firearms and not be charged with illegal possession. Outside of the surrender period if police find you in possession of a firearm for which you do not have a license then you could receive a mandatory five year prison sentence.

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.

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms activity contact the police or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Possession of firearms by persons previously convicted of crime (Firearms Act 1968)

*This is particularly important for people who have served or are serving a custodial sentence, or who have previous convictions. This is the relevant section of the Firearms Acts 1968

Three guns

22.21 A person who has been sentenced to custody for life or to preventive detention, or to imprisonment or to corrective training for a term of three years or more, or to youth custody or detention in a young offenders institution, shall not at any time have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

22.22 A person who has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three months or more but less than three years, or to youth custody or detention in a young offenders institution for such a term or who has been subject to a secure training order or a detention and training order, shall not at any time before the expiration of the period of five years from the date of his release have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

22.23 In the case of a sentence with an order under section 47(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 (partly in prison and partly suspended) “the date of his release” means the date on which the period in prison specified in the order is completed.

22.24 In the case of a person subject to a secure training order “the date of his release” means the date in which he is released from detention under the order, or the date halfway through the total period specified in the order, whichever is the later.

188 22.25 In the case of a person subject to a detention and training order “the date of his release” means the date on which he is released from detention ordered under section 104 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, or the date in which he is released on licence following recall from prison as specified in the order, or the date of the half-way point of the term of the order, whichever is the later.

22.26 It should be noted that the wording of section 21(2B) was repealed by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 from 3 December 2012.

22.27 A person who is subject to a recognizance to keep the peace or to be of good behaviour, or a community order within the meaning of Part 12 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 made in England or Wales, or a caution in Scotland, containing a requirement that he shall not possess, use or carry a firearm, shall not at any time during which he holds the licence or is so specified by the order, have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

22.28 It is an offence for a person to sell or transfer, or to repair, test, or prove, a firearm or ammunition for a person whom he knows or has reasonable ground for believing to be prohibited by this section to have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

22.29 A person prohibited under this section from having in his possession a firearm or ammunition may apply to the Crown Court or, in Scotland, to the sheriff, for a removal of the prohibition, and if the application is granted that prohibition shall not then apply to him.


No. The move for local surrenders, including that in Dorset Police’s policing area, is not specifically linked to the current counter terrorism threat. Several UK police forces have organised successful gun surrenders in the last 12 months (Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Greater Manchester Police, West Mercia Police, and Northants) to remove firearms from the streets. On the back of this success Dorset Police want to repeat the good work in our region.

By removing weapons in the supply chain, Dorset Police are reducing the risk of criminals being able to get their hands on them.    
There was a change in firearms legislation in 2014 which closed legal loopholes for some owners of antique weapons (those with a criminal record for example). Antique guns can be owned without a licence due to the ammunition being obsolete. However some criminals manufacture their own ammunition to use with antique weapons. This local surrender will give another reminder to those who may wish to get rid of unwanted antique weapons.  

It is true that gun crime levels generally have dropped in the last decade. However we cannot be complacent about the continued threat to our communities from criminals with access to guns. National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS), working together with UK police forces, is determined to carry on suppressing the threat.  Firearms surrenders are one way to show the public how seriously we all take this issue. We want to get as many firearms out of circulation and off the streets as possible. One gun in the wrong hands can have catastrophic consequences

All police forces have the opportunity to take part if they wish to. The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) is encouraging all forces to participate so we can get as many firearms off the streets as possible. We hope the public will support the initiatives and get behind the campaign being run by Dorset Police.

To reduce the volume of guns in circulation in the UK which could get into the hands of criminals. This surrender could save lives.  

Five forces as above in (A1) have held gun surrenders during the past 12 months and this has resulted in hundreds of guns and rounds of ammunition being handed in. This can only be a good thing. It takes the weapons out of circulation and out of the hands of criminals.

In previous campaigns there have been various weapons handed in including antique guns, air weapons, rifles and shotguns. We hope many weapons will be surrendered during the Dorset Police Firearms Surrender. If you want to safely dispose of a firearm you can contact us for advice by calling 101 or visiting our Do it Online pages.

A proportion of the firearms will be destroyed but some may be retained by armourers if they are of significant interest, unusual, etc. Any guns which can be proved to be linked to a crime will be kept as evidence and retained for any future court case proceedings.

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