B.C. takes aim at gun violence with October amnesty

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B.C. takes aim at gun violence with October amnesty
B.C. takes aim at gun violence with October amnesty – Jun 16, 2016

The province is pushing to make B.C. safer by implementing a month-long gun amnesty this October.

“British Columbians can unload old guns, ammunition – any unwanted firearms or weapons – and ensure they never end up in the hands of criminals during a province-wide amnesty Oct. 1-31, 2016,” according to a government news release.

The amnesty will apply to any firearm, documented or undocumented, and also includes restricted and prohibited weapons that have not been involved in criminal activity.

“B.C. police leaders fully support the upcoming firearms amnesty as an important public-safety measure,” said president of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Les Sylven. “Unfortunately, even legitimate, registered firearms that are properly stored can be stolen and become a danger on our streets so we encourage anyone who has weapons they simply don’t need or want to participate in the upcoming amnesty in October.”

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Previous gun amnesties in B.C. have taken place in 2006 and 2013. They yielded more than 5,000 firearms including 900 handguns, two machine guns and 127,500 rounds of ammunition. Other weapons surrendered include a rocket launcher, a military missile, historical rifles and antique bayonets.

According to a Statistics Canada report, 156 homicides in 2014 were committed with firearms. That’s 31 per cent of all such incidents in the country.

To arrange for pickup of an unwanted gun, or to leave tips about unauthorized firearms, people should call their local police detachment . Officers will be dispatched to retrieve the weapons.

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