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Don’t throw away money by handing in antique guns, says expert

Firearms expert Bill Harriman has warned people not to hand in valuable guns by accident during the current national surrender campaign.

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BASC is asking shooters to check for “cash in the attic” in the form of unwanted guns, rather than handing them in.

The call comes following the current national firearms surrender campaign, which is running from 13 to 26 November, during which people can hand over firearms and ammunition at designated police stations. The amnesty allows those in possession of illegal firearms to turn them over anonymously, and legally held guns are also accepted.

Financial or historical value

But BASC director of firearms Bill Harriman, who is also a regular valuation expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, warns that by handing in your guns you could be giving money away. “BASC applauds any initiative that stops guns falling into the hands of criminals, but our advice is to first be certain you are not giving away a valuable antique firearm,” he said, advising that people first check their gun’s financial or historical value.

“All too often I see pictures of police officers with surrendered firearms that may be legally owned and which are valuable.

No consolation for those who give up an antique

“The police will say that the Museums Weapons Group looks over all surrendered firearms and retains historically important ones for museum use. That is of little consolation to someone who has been encouraged into giving up their lawfully owned valuable property.

“BASC’s firearms team is always happy to advise members in confidence and a mobile phone photo is often enough for us to make a positive identification.”

Guns will be disposed of safely

The surrender initiative is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).

Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton, head of NABIS, said: “Surrendering unwanted or illegal firearms avoids the risk of them becoming involved in crime and means that they can be disposed of in a safe manner.”