Low calibre turnout for gun amnesty in Castlegar

RCMP see few guns during recent amnesty but are pleased for any turned in

A rifle leaning on a piece of furniture.

The Castlegar RCMP detachment saw only a tiny fraction of the more than 1,800 firearms turned in to the RCMP in B.C. in June, during a month-long gun amnesty.

Donna Smith, spokesperson for the detachment, said five boxes of old ammunition, two old .22 rifles and one handgun were voluntarily given to police.

The handgun was registered legally but the family of the estate didn’t want to keep it.

Across B.C., another 155 other weapons and approximately 30,700 rounds of ammunition were turned in to B.C. RCMP for destruction during the amnesty, something a government press release said furthers public safety.

British Columbians were encouraged to surrender weapons — ranging from high-powered firearms and crossbows to pellet and replica guns — as well as ammunition, by calling their local police to attend, secure and remove the items.

“The misuse of firearms can take many forms,” said Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, commanding officer of the RCMP in British Columbia in the release. “Whether it involves a child’s curiosity, a domestic incident, a theft or some other turn of events, the impact is too often instantaneous and tragic. By calling police and arranging for safe disposal of their unwanted weapons and ammunition, thousands of British Columbians have helped to prevent potentially dozens of dangerous incidents.”

As with past campaigns, some interesting items were turned in:

– 1,026 rifles, 394 handguns and 380 shotguns.

– A machine gun received by Kelowna RCMP.

– Historical firearms, including a Lee-Enfield .303 rifle from World War II.

– Bayonets from the 1800s, turned in to Ridge Meadows RCMP.

– A well-publicized military missile more than six feet long, turned in by the relative of an individual who reportedly kept it as a souvenir of a tour of duty overseas.

Smith said unwanted weapons can be turned in any time to the police, not just when the gun amnesty is being promoted. It’s always best to contact the police on a non-emergency number in advance to arrange details.

Castlegar RCMP can be reached at 250-365-7721.

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