Anyone wanting to get rid of guns or ammunition can turn them in to police this month without fear of criminal charges.
The Sunshine Coast RCMP are participating in the province-wide gun amnesty to remove and destroy weapons from the community. Police will accept ammunition at the Sechelt detachment and will pick up guns from homes upon request until June 30. The surrendered guns and other weapons materials will then be destroyed.
The Solicitor General and Attorney General ministries announced that people will not be charged with possession if they turn in their guns and ammunition - which have not been used in a criminal offence - to police forces between June 1 and 30.
"In support of this initiative, I have directed the B.C. Crown prosecutors to refrain from charging anyone who voluntarily surrenders a firearm during the month of June," Attorney General Wally Oppal said in a press release. "However, Crown Coun-sel will resume charging under sections 91, 92, 93 and 95 of the Criminal Code of Canada as of July 1."
The amnesty is an opportunity to remove from people's homes guns that are unwanted, unregistered or illegal. "This amnesty is another tool in the fight against gun violence," Solicitor General John Les said in the release. "Removing guns from circulation will enhance public safety and reduce the risk of these weapons falling into the hands of criminals."
Police will also accept imitation guns, pellet guns, pepper spray and knives.
"The vast majority of firearms owners are law-abiding citizens; however, circumstances change. A parent may pass away, and their relatives may not want these firearms in their possession," said Paul Hames, president of the B.C. Chiefs of Police. "The amnesty provides a safe and easy way for people to dispose of weapons while ensuring that they don't fall into the wrong hands or hurt somebody in an accident."
So far, the Sunshine Coast RCMP have not received any firearms during the amnesty, according to Sgt. Gerry Webb. Firearms owners wishing to have their guns picked up are asked to call the Sunshine Coast RCMP at 604-885-2266.