MORE than 190 items were handed into Wiltshire Police across two weeks, including air rifles, flares, knives and bolt-action rifles from the First World War.

Between July 24 and Sunday, the National Firearms Surrender ended with 65 firearms, 24 flares and 21 rounds of ammunition being handed in.

Firearms surrendered included air rifles, a deactivated AK-47, shotguns, BB guns, starter pistols, a Mauser Machine Pistol, two First World War bolt-action rifles and muzzle-loading rifles.

82 knives, two pepper spray canisters, mace spray and black powder propellant were also handed to the police.

Inspector Paul Saunders said the initiative has received "a really positive response", adding: “I would like to say thank you to those members of the public across Wiltshire and Swindon, who have surrendered items during the past two weeks.

“Wiltshire continues to be one of the safest counties to live in the country, and thankfully incidents involving firearms remain low.

“As well as asking people to consider surrendering their firearms, it has given us an opportunity to talk about them.

“Wiltshire is largely a rural county, we know there are people who legally own or collect firearms, so during these two weeks we have been appealing to them to think about the safety of their guns. How they store them, who could have access, where they are using them and how they are transporting them.

“The items handed in during the surrender have demonstrated how air guns, something you do not ordinarily require a license for, are designed to look very similar to live firearms and, if not handled carefully or seen by the public, could trigger a full police firearms response."

Majority of the firearms will be destroyed, but some will be used for training purposes or be passed to museums to be displayed.

Inspector Saunders added: “Although this firearms surrender has now finished, I would like to remind members of the public that guns, knives and ammunition can be handed in at police enquiry offices at any time.

“Many firearms are held without awareness of their legality or may be overlooked or forgotten in people’s homes. I would urge the public that if you are not using your firearm, or if you have found an old one when tidying out the loft or shed, please take responsibility and safely dispose of it by handing it in to us.

“Firearms can have devastating consequences in the wrong hands, whether that is the hands of criminals, children, or vulnerable people.”