Firearms Amnesty in the Works
Prince George, B.C. – The details have yet to be ironed out, but a plan is being developed for a province wide firearms amnesty .
(at right, some of the firearms surrendered during the June 2013 province wide amnesty – photo courtesy RCMP)
There are no details on when the amnesty will be offered, or how long it will last.
It’s been three years since the last time such an amnesty was offered, where people could surrender firearms or other weapons to police without repercussions, as long as the item had not been used in the commission of a crime.
In June of 2013, that month long amnesty saw about 1800 firearms turned over to police agencies across BC and just over 155 other unwanted weapons surrendered.
Of that number, 44 firearms were turned over to the Prince George RCMP, the number made up of 34 long guns and 10 hand guns. Among the unwanted weapons, was a grenade.
The planning for a new Province wide amnesty is part of the $23 million dollar Guns and Gangs Strategy that rolled out a little over a month ago.
While much of the focus of that strategy has been on the lower mainland, several arrests have been made in the north including:
- four in Prince George following a targeted shooting in a parking lot near Upland and 17th,
- an arrest in Williams Lake following a complaint of shots being fired at the former residence of a person who claimed to be a gang member and
- multiple arrests and the seizure of millions of dollars’ worth of illegal drugs in the Lower Mainland and Northern B.C., which CFSEU-BC linked to a Fraser Valley crime syndicate operating in the north.
In addition to developing a province wide gun amnesty, the Guns and Gangs strategy continues to work on forming the two new 10 person gang disruption and interdiction teams within the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) and the new Office of Crime Reduction and Gang Outreach is in the process of hiring its staff.