In an effort to reduce the number of firearms in Williams Lake and surrounding communities, the Williams Lake RCMP are participating in a province-wide Gun Amnesty during the month of June.
“The amnesty will give residents a safe way to dispose of weapons, imitation weapons and related equipment and ammunition which they are not legally entitled to own, or which they no longer want,” the Williams Lake RCMP noted in press release. “The amnesty provides the opportunity to reduce the number of firearms in our communities, enhancing public and police officer safety.”
Unwanted weapons are a potential hazard. If they are not properly secured, they could be used by children, for example, to devastating consequences.
Should these weapons be stolen in a break and enter, they could be used in the commission of a crime, the RCMP said.
People with unwanted weapons, firearms or ammunition, they may not be legally entitled to own, are encouraged to turn them in by
calling the RCMP at 250-392-6211 or contacting John Pliszek, Operations Support, at 250-392-8680, to arrange for a police officer to pick up the weapons. People are asked not to deliver weapons to the detachment.
“As for local firearms, it’s hard to put a number to guns that could potentially be turned in,” Pilszek said. “We know from our experience that there are thousands of firearms in this area.”
Most are owned by conscientious gun owners but the RCMP regularly come across firearms that are insecurely stored or owned by individuals who do not have valid licensing to own a firearm, he added.
During the 2006 Gun Amnesty, in excess of 3,200 guns were turned in to police including 505 handguns, and 725 other unwanted weapons. 96,500 rounds of ammunition, a rocket launcher, and a machine gun.