A Sten gun is a semi-automatic, nine-millimetre sub-machine gun produced during the Second World War and capable of firing 600 to 700 rounds per minute.
Manufactured in Britain and Belgium—though there was a Canadian weapons factory that produced one variation as well— it’s one of the weapons RCMP see a lot of during the month of June when residents of Kelowna are encouraged to call the RCMP to have unwanted weapons retrieved, no matter how obscure, with a total amnesty.
“I know there’s still a lot of them out there,” said RCMP spokesman Const. Steve Holmes when asked if the well had started to run dry as yet, whether residents have stopped handing over guns as often.
Now several years into this practice, Holmes says the RCMP still receive a good deal of calls for everything from muskets made in the 1800s to brand new weapons some people would prefer not to keep around the house. In Kelowna, they managed to pick up 41 long guns, two air guns and 14 hand guns this time around.
By and large, all of the weapons are destroyed; although, some of the more rare antiques will be sent on to the lab and may be saved for historical reference.
Holmes says the RCMP will pick up a weapon at any time, year-round, and encourage residents who may still wish to rid themselves of an unwanted gun, bow or knife to contact police and have it retrieved. The police do not want residents walking into the detachment with weapons, particularly loaded ones, as it may be dangerous for everyone involved.