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B.C. police want to get unwanted guns out of people's homes

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Morris is flanked by Chief Supt. Ray Bernsties of the RCMP Island District Command, left, and Acting Chief of Victoria Police Del Manak, right, as he discusses an upcoming gun amnesty while in Penticton, Thursday, June 16, 2016 for the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police AGM.
June 16, 2016 - 11:30 AM

PENTICTON - The B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police hopes a gun amnesty this fall will help reduce the number of weapons falling into criminal’s hands from break and enters.

The gun amnesty, which will run from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, was announced today, June 16, in Penticton as the police chiefs wrapped up their annual meeting in the city.

RCMP are urging residents not to bring the guns they want to get rid of into their local detachment, but rather call police and arrange to have an officer pick up the weapons.

Public Safety Minister Mike Morris says the root cause of many gun accidents are related to access to weapons, adding in many assaults or shootings the gun is often traced back to a break and enter.

Morris says amnesties in the past — in 2006 and 2013 — yielded 5,000 firearms, ranging from a rocket launcher to vintage weapons and bayonets, and 128,000 rounds of ammunition.

Morris said the amnesty provides those who have illegal weapons, illegally owned weapons or weapons they no longer wish to possess the opportunity to get rid of them.

All the weapons collected will be destroyed.

Asked why the province didn’t offer a gun amnesty all the time, Morris replied criminals might use it to their advantage.

The province won't offer financial incentives to intice people to give up guns because the minister says the province isn't in the business of buying weapons.


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