The United Kingdom’s National Gun Surrender event is officially over, and the results from each county are slowly starting to trickle in.
During the two-week weapons amnesty, which ran from November 13th through the 26th, the North Yorkshire Police collected 228 weapons – some of which are loosely defined – and a few odd items.
Here’s the breakdown:
• Three handguns
• 51 shotguns
• 74 replica / imitation handguns / air pistols
• 34 air rifles
• Four rifles
• A replica Thompson submachine gun
• A replica AK47
• Two shotguns disguised as a walking stick
• One antique firearm
• One gun used in connection with animal slaughter
Other non-firearm weapons
• Eight ornamental swords
• 46 knives (including basic household knives, hunting knives, ceremonial daggers)
• One cross bow
• One bayonet
Other items handed in
• Four flares
• A fork
Yes, you read that right. Someone actually handed in an eating utensil.
So, forks, flares, cross bows, bayonets, swords and knives aside – none of which are illegal in the UK, or require a permit – the North Yorkshire police saw 172 firearms brought in. Take out replica and air guns and you’re really only left with 80 firearms. The results suddenly seem much less impressive.
Of course, North Yorkshire Police Sergeant Dave France still considers the event a success.
“We’re really pleased with the response we’ve had to this year’s surrender,” France said according to the official North Yorkshire Police website. “We’ve had 30% more firearms handed in this time around compared to our last surrender in 2014 and that doesn’t include the non-firearms that have been surrendered.”
“Every weapon has the potential to fall into the wrong hands and have a devastating impact, even those that are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes,” France added. “So it’s reassuring to know that 231 weapons are now off the street safely.”
Apparently, France is now including the fork and two of those flares in his count.
“Just one weapon off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities and has the potential to save a life,” he concluded.
The problem is, these weapons likely weren’t taken off the street. They were probably pulled from people’s basements, attics and storage closets where other unwanted, unused items sit collecting dust. But this – the actual effectiveness of buybacks and amnesties in reducing crime – doesn’t appear to matter much to officials, and that’s why we’ll continue to see these events being held in both the UK and at home.
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