Sussex and Surrey police have joined forces to appeal to members of the public to surrender unwanted firearms or ammunition so they can be disposed of safely.
The campaign runs November 10-21 and gives holders of firearms and ammunition the opportunity to dispose of the items by handing them in at a police station.
New legislation that came into effect on July 14 increased the maximum jail term for illegal gun possession from 10 years to life. This includes anyone who is storing a weapon for someone else and antique firearms. Police believe many gun owners may not realise the weapons they have could be illegal or the danger they pose if they fall into the wrong hands.
During the two week period, those surrendering firearms will not be prosecuted for offences of possessing them illegally. However each weapon may be analysed to determine if it has been used in crime and, if it has, it will be investigated.
Surrendering unwanted or unlicensed weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that people can dispose of firearms and ammunition in a safe place.
Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, head of operations command across both forces, said: “We do all we can to ensure that firearms do not fall into the hands of criminals.
“This is why we are giving this opportunity for people to dispose of unwanted guns safely.”