ANYONE who owns an unlicensed weapon can hand it in without fear of prosecution in a gun amnesty starting next week.

Wiltshire Police will be holding the amnesty, alongside a national two-week surrender of firearms and ammunition, from Monday (November 13).

The surrender period allows people to hand in unwanted guns or ammunition by taking them to a local police station and handing them in.

Between November 13 and 26, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender, and can remain anonymous.

But forensic tests will be carried out on all firearms handed in, and police say if they are found to be related to a past criminal offence then that will be investigated fully.

Police say surrendering unwanted, unlicensed weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.

Inspector Barry Hickman said: “Our mission is to keep people safe and protect our communities; we must never be complacent about gun crime.

“The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners and our local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.

“We use various tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands – but we need the public’s help. We want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to hand them in.

“The surrender does not give amnesty for the life of the weapon and the public should be reassured that the police will continue to vigorously investigate offences linked to any firearm recovered.”

“During the surrender we want people to hand in illegally-held guns and ammunition, those used for criminal purposes or that you have been asked to hide for someone else. We will also accept other unwanted guns and ammunition including air guns and imitations firearms.

“One weapon off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities.

“If you know where a weapon is being kept illegally, now is your chance to give up the gun, or tell us anonymously where it is. You will not be prosecuted and you could save a life.”

Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at six police stations across Wiltshire, including at Bourne Hill in Salisbury.

Anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the surrender is advised to check the opening times of their station by visiting the Wiltshire Police website or calling 101.

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.