Multiple Saskatchewan police agencies launch 2022 firearm amnesty program

Police across the province are participating in this year's firearm amnesty program where residents are offered an opportunity to surrender unwanted guns. Derek Putz / Global News

Police services across Saskatchewan along with the Ministry of Environment have started up this year’s firearm amnesty program.

The program will run from Monday to April 10 and Saskatchewan residents are encouraged to contact their municipal police service, closest RCMP detachment or a conservation office to arrange a time to surrender unwanted guns, replica guns and ammunition.

The Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police (SACP) is sponsoring the program, which they say offers a proactive approach to tackle gun violence in the province.

“The SACP distinguishes that legal, safe and responsible firearm ownership is the practice of most gun-owners in this province,” a statement issued on Monday said.

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“The SACP firearm amnesty does not wish to have an adverse effect on responsible firearms owners. Instead, the SACP firearm amnesty is designed to lower the risk of violent offences involving firearms by safely collecting and disposing of unwanted firearms that may otherwise fall into the hands of criminals through break and enters or accidental loss.”

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An example of an unwanted firearm would be a gun inherited as part of an estate but no longer wanted by the surviving relative, the SACP said on Monday.

People wanting to participate in the program are told not to transport firearms due to safety risk and potential criminal implications.

Instead, residents are asked to make an arrangement with police or conservation officers who will pick up unwanted guns from residents wishing to surrender them.

No charges in relation to unauthorized possession of guns will be pursued by police if they are surrendered as part of the program, according to the SACP.

“Surrendered firearms will be checked by police to see if they are involved in any ongoing investigations. Firearms will then be destroyed,” the release added.

Saskatchewan RCMP, the Ministry of Environment and municipal police forces in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Weyburn, Estevan, File Hills First Nations and Wilton are all participating in the initiative.

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Local arrangements will be made public in each community.

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