Winnipeg police want your unwanted guns, they just ask that you call ahead first.
Police spokesperson Cst. Jay Murray says firearm owners shouldn’t bring their weapons in unannounced.
Turns out walking into the station with a gun can be unnerving for police.
“A lot of people have been walking in with a rifle or long rifle in their hand or a firearm, and it’s kind of a little alarming to officers — it puts them on edge,” he told Global News Winnipeg’s morning show Thursday.
“What we want to do is just encourage people to contact our non-emergency number … and wait for us to come and pick it up.”
After a background check is done on both the gun owner and the firearm, Murray said police destroy the weapon and let the RCMP know the gun no longer exists.
Murray said Winnipeg police are seeing an increase in the number of guns handed over every year, with roughly 1,750 coming in 2018.
A month-long gun amnesty held by the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police last summer also saw nearly 700 firearms and 22,000 rounds of ammunition brought into 13 different police agencies across the province.
Among the items turned in, Winnipeg police received a nine-pound cannonball. They said it had been found by someone visiting York Factory in the 1960s.
Portage La Prairie RCMP also got an unusual call about a bomb that had been stored in the home of a basement. It was not operational, thankfully.
While the majority of those bringing in guns during amnesty programs are legal firearm owners, Murray said even getting legal guns off the streets is important for public safety.
“Illicit firearms aren’t normally trafficked into Winnipeg, they come from break and enters, they come from houses,” he said.
“So we ask, if somebody has a firearm that they really don’t have a use for anymore, that they don’t want to sell and they want to get rid of, certainly take advantage of this service.
“It’s one firearm that we can get off the street and hopefully it doesn’t fall into the hands of somebody who shouldn’t have one.”
Anyone looking to handover a firearm to Winnipeg police should call 204-986-6222 to book an appointment to have the weapon safely picked up.
RELATED VIDEO: Manitoba RCMP collect nearly 700 firearms, 22,000 rounds of ammunition in June’s gun amnesty program