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10 November 2014, 11:46
A two-week gun amnesty has started in London.
Owners of illegal guns and ammunition will be able to hand them in to the Metropolitan Police anonymously and without being prosecuted from two weeks from Monday 10 November 2014.
In particular, the force says it it looking to stop antique guns falling into the hands of gang members, who have previously exploited a loophole in the law.
Rules for buying working antique guns were tightened in July, preventing convicts from buying or owning one and by the end of the year requiring dealers to keep computerised records for at least 20 years.
Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Haydon, head of Trident Gang Crime Command, said gun crime in the capital in 2013/14 was at its lowest in six years, while 300 guns were seized last year.
But he said: "We are not complacent, our primary aim is keeping Londoners safe, and we recognise the considerable and devastating impact of gun crime on those affected by it.
"The surrender provides an opportunity to significantly reduce the number of firearms in circulation on the streets of London.
"Trident has previously highlighted that some gang members have exploited a legislative loophole around antique firearms. Make no mistake, these are live weapons which can be used to hurt or injure someone.
"We have welcomed the tightening of laws around antique firearms which now means that someone who has served or received a criminal sentence can no longer possess an antique gun.
"I appeal to anyone who owns an antique firearm or legally owns a gun but who no longer requires it is, please hand it in.
"Whether it belongs to you, your son or daughter, brother or sister, friend or partner, by handing it in you are preventing one more weapon falling into the hands of criminals."
A map of police stations can be found at www.met.police.uk/giveupyourgun.