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Handing in guns - research for a thriller


LexiRevellian
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Hi, I'm writing a thriller dealing with Russian oligarchs in London, and I wondered if any of you could advise...

Would it be possible for a character to hand in a pistol, a Baikal IZH-79, plus a hundred rounds of ammunition at a police station without being detained for questioning?

I got this advice from a gun club: "It is a widely-held belief that firearms can only be handed in to the police during an amnesty. In fact the police are only too happy for illegally-held firearms to be handed in at any time. The official police attitude is illustrated by the following extract from Suffolk Police's website: Are you worried that you are in possession of something you shouldn’t have and have concerns about handing it in to the police? We receive many guns, ammunition, knives, swords and other weapons. If you make the effort to hand them in you will have acted responsibly and no action will be taken against you. If you retain something you shouldn’t have then you risk prosecution. Please don’t throw weapons away, as they could end up in the wrong hands. Help make Suffolk safer and hand them in!"

I thought about this, and imagined walking into my local police station, and I couldn't get over the idea that the police would be very interested indeed in where the gun had come from, whatever Suffolk police say.

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If the person had a legal reason to posess it and could show it, that would be fine. but if you just rock up with a gun and try and hand it in without showing where it came from, you are going to be in trouble

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Thanks, that's what I suspected. So if my heroine finds herself in possession of a gun and doesn't want to shop the person she got it from, it seems to me her choices are:

  • Dump it in deep water
  • Wait until there is a police amnesty on weapons
  • say she found it in a plastic bag by her recycling bins?
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Huh. That would involve my knowing something about Suffolk, when I'd be hard put to find it on a map. Do you get Russian oligarchs in Suffolk?

Anyway, I'm not sure I trust that Suffolk statement...I think in practice they might not be able to contain their curiosity about where the gun came from.

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If it's an amnesty then that's all good. Or you could just leave it somewhere and we would get it from whoever called in.

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Huh. That would involve my knowing something about Suffolk, when I'd be hard put to find it on a map. Do you get Russian oligarchs in Suffolk?

Anyway, I'm not sure I trust that Suffolk statement...I think in practice they might not be able to contain their curiosity about where the gun came from.

No idea. Never been there. But they'd happily take the gun in from what you posted above.

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They could leave it somewhere where a responsible person would find it and hand it in. For instance go into a Catholic church and confess to the priest and tell them you'll leave the gun in the confessional. Or leave it on the doorstep of a police officer and ring the doorbell. Or stash it somewhere and ring Crimestoppers to tell them where it is.

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I like that, marraglass. Have you thought of writing a novel?

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