Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris speaking at a press conference held in Penticton announcing an October amnesty that will take aim at illegal weapons.

Gun amnesty aims at illegal weapons in Okanagan

British Columbians can unload old guns, ammunition — any unwanted firearms or weapons — from Oct. 1 to 31.

To ensure illegal or unwanted firearms and weapons don’t end up in the hands of criminals a province-wide gun amnesty will take place in October.

British Columbians can unload old guns, ammunition — any unwanted firearms or weapons — from Oct. 1 to 31.

“Any steps we can do to reduce firearms getting to people for illegal purposes is a step in the right direction,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris.

“Realistically, no, it’s not going to eliminate incidents from happening in the future but hopefully it will mitigate them and prevent a lot of tragedies from happening in the future.”

The month-long amnesty will apply to any documented or undocumented firearms and other weapons — including restricted and prohibited ones — that have not been used for a criminal purpose, as well as any amount of ammunition. Morris said the risk of prosecution is taken away for those wanting to turn items over that haven’t been used for a criminal purpose.

In Toronto, a city councillor is proposing a gun amnesty where those who turn items over would receive cash or grocery store gift cards.

“We are not in the business of exchanging money for weapons in British Columbia,” said Morris.

Penticton RCMP rounded up 32 firearms in 2013 during the last amnesty. At the time, RCMP told the Western News most people came in with older firearms that nobody in the family wanted anymore. They received one “newer” shotgun.

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, media relations for the South East District, said the gun amnesty is not only effective in larger centres. He added many firearms recovered during criminal investigations are obtained illegally by perpetrators.

“When we speak of break and enters, and in general, certainly we do come across some weapons and items that get stolen,” said Moskaluk. “It is a day-to-day factor in policing in smaller communities. Certainly we have seen success in previous amnesties that have taken place here in the South Okanagan.”

Kelowna RCMP picked up 41 long guns, two air guns and 14 hand guns. Included in that cache was a Second World War Sten sub machine gun that was not in working condition. As well, they retrieved other weapons in the 2013 gun amnesty including a baseball bat studded with nails.

Across the province RCMP had 1,429 firearms and 97 other unwanted weapons were picked up by detachments during the last amnesty. In addition to guns, over 16,000 rounds of ammunition were also turned in.

Interested firearms owners are asked to call their local detachment or their department’s non-emergency line to arrange for officers to attend and retrieve the weapons. Under no circumstances should anyone deliver them to police.

Firearms and ammunition surrendered during the amnesty will be destroyed.

 

Just Posted

Grass fire ignites in Glenrosa

West Kelowna fire crews are on the scene of a grass fire

Updated: Okanagan Mountain Park fire grows

Smoke can be seen from Okanagan Mountain Park across from Peachland

West Kelowna firefighters perform rescue after lightning strike

Crews rescued two people from an apartment’s elevator on Carrington Road

No more fast food drive-thrus at Turtle Bay Crossing

Lake Country council rejected the third reading of a bylaw which would allow for a second drive-thru

Electricity usage record broken in Okanagan

Okanagan residents are breaking last year’s electricity records this summer, says FortisBC.… Continue reading

VIDEO: Vernon residents quick to jump on lightning fire

Thanks to the residents’ efforts, crews were able to quickly suppress the fire.

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontario

Black bears, now yearlings, were sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario last April

‘Recovery high schools,’ per diems urged to better manage addiction in B.C.

BC Centre for Substance Use says focus needs to shift to from overdose prevention to long-term care

UPDATED: Four small wildfires reported near Revelstoke following Tuesday night storm

Four new wildfires are currently burning near Revelstoke following Tuesday night’s lightning… Continue reading

Vernon Tigers one win from lacrosse title

The Vernon Source For Sports Tigers watched the Kamloops Venom self-destruct in a 20-7 win Tuesday.

Several attacked with bear spray at Kalamalka Beach

Police have apprehended a 16-year-old Vernon male.

Hells Angels celebrating 35th anniversary party on Vancouver Island

Additional police resources will be in Nanaimo this weekend as roughly 300 members and hang arounds are expected

New campaign aims to tide food waste at home

About 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is discarded in Canada every year

‘Savour the Okanagan’ fundraiser in Vernon Saturday

All contributions and proceeds will go towards JoeAnna’s House

Most Read