Questions and Answers

  1. What is the purpose of the BC Gun Amnesty?
  2. Which sections of the Criminal Code are affected by the amnesty?
  3. What should I do if I want to hand in a gun?
  4. Are all police forces in BC taking part in this amnesty?
  5. Have there been previous amnesties in BC?
  6. Who can participate?
  7. What types of firearms and weapons might be handed in during the amnesty?
  8. Can ammunition be turned in too?
  9. Will I be asked for my details when I hand in a gun?
  10. What happens to guns that are surrendered?
  11. What if I have information regarding the criminal use of firearms?
  12. Are safeguards in place to ensure that crime-related firearms are not disposed of through the program?
  13. I have inherited a gun and do not want to turn it in. Where can I get information on licensing and proper storage?
  14. What do you expect to gain from having this amnesty?

  1. What is the purpose of the BC Gun Amnesty?

    The BC Gun Amnesty will allow British Columbians, who have illegal or unwanted firearms, other weapons or ammunition, an opportunity to voluntarily surrender them to the police for safe disposal. The amnesty takes place between October 1-31, 2016 and during this time police will not recommend weapons-related Criminal Code charges that might otherwise apply against people who are turning in these items.

    The immunity from prosecution will not apply to those persons who, when detained or arrested, are found to be in possession of a weapon; nor will it apply if it is determined that a firearm or other weapon has been used for a criminal purpose.

  2. Which sections of the Criminal Code are affected by the amnesty?

    Section 91 – Unauthorized possession of a firearm. This section requires individuals to possess both a firearms license and the appropriate registration certificates for firearms that they possess. 

    Section 92 – Possession of a firearm knowing it to be unauthorized.

    Section 93 – Possession of a firearm at an unauthorized place. Some classes of firearms are required to be registered at and stored at a specific address.

    Section 95 – Possession of a restricted or prohibited firearm with ammunition.

    Application of the BC Gun Amnesty

    It is important to note that the amnesty only applies to individuals who have contacted their local police to participate in the program. Those detained or arrested by police in other circumstances will continue to be subject to charges. Furthermore, the amnesty will not apply if it is determined that a firearm or other weapon that was voluntarily surrendered has been used for a criminal purpose. 
  3. What should I do if I want to hand in a gun?

    Contact your local police department through the non-emergency number. You can also view a list of RCMP detachment phone numbers.

    The operator will ask information about the firearms and ammunition in your possession. Many firearms are marked with the make, model, serial number and calibre. Be clear about any ammunition that they may have, especially if anything could be considered explosive.

    A police officer will then come to your home to pick up the firearm/s and any ammunition. 

    Important Safety Notice

    DO NOT take firearms to your police station. A police officer will come to your home to pick up the firearms and any ammunition. DO NOT bring the firearms to the door when the police officer arrives.
     

  4. Are all police forces in BC taking part in this amnesty?  

    Yes, the amnesty is supported by the RCMP and all municipal police forces in the province. If you don’t know which police force serves your area, please look inside the front cover of your phone book for police, and call the non-emergency number.  

  5. Have there been previous amnesties in BC?

    Yes. In the past decade, two previous BC firearms amnesties have been held in 2006 and 2013 have yielded more than 5,000 firearms – including 900 handguns and two machine guns – plus approximately 127,500 rounds of ammunition. Among hundreds of other weapons surrendered were a rocket launcher, a military missile, historical rifles and antique bayonets.

  6. Who can participate?

    Any resident of BC may participate in the amnesty.

  7. What types of firearms and weapons might be handed in during the amnesty?

    • Registered firearms that are no longer wanted by the owner.
    • Prohibited and Restricted firearms and weapons, prohibited devices and prohibited ammunition as these are defined in the Criminal Code of Canada.
    • Firearms that have been inherited from a deceased family member, which are no longer wanted.
    • Firearms that have never been registered under current firearms law, including handguns, rifles and shotguns.
    • Imitation firearms that are not required to be registered, but still pose a danger as they are difficult to distinguish from a real gun.
    • Other dangerous weapons such as pepper spray, knives, and pellet weapons will also be accepted under the amnesty.
  8. Can ammunition be turned in too?

    Yes, the police will accept all types of ammunition during this amnesty.

  9. Will I be asked for my details when I hand in a gun?

    Yes, you will. This information is required in order to remove the firearm from the Canadian Firearms Registry or other firearms database. See Question 3 for more details.

  10. What happens to guns that are surrendered?

    The vast majority will be destroyed. A small number of firearms may be retained for educational or training purposes.

  11. What if I have information regarding the criminal use of firearms?

    If you have information pertaining to the criminal use of firearms, or any other criminal offence, you should contact your local police directly or call Crime Stoppers at (604) 669-8477 or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

  12. Are safeguards in place to ensure that crime-related firearms are not disposed of through the program?

    Yes. Measures to ensure this does not happen are in place. Should such a weapon be detected, a full investigation will be initiated.

  13. I have inherited a gun and do not want to turn it in. Where can I get information on licensing and proper storage?

    You can visit the RCMP’s National website for information on the Canadian Firearms Program at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf. There you will find some general safety information, as well as information on Inherited Firearms.  
  14. What do you expect to gain from having this amnesty?

    Unwanted weapons are a potential hazard. Should these weapons be stolen in a break and enter, they could be used in the commission of a crime. By turning in unwanted weapons, we expect to increase public safety with fewer guns are on the street.

    The BC Gun Amnesty will allow British Columbians, who have illegal or unwanted firearms, other weapons or ammunition, an opportunity to voluntarily surrender them to the police for safe disposal. The amnesty takes place between June 1-30, 2013, and during this time police will not recommend weapons-related Criminal Code charges that might otherwise apply against people who are turning in these items.

    The immunity from prosecution will not apply to those persons who, when detained or arrested, are found to be in possession of a weapon; nor will it apply if it is determined that a firearm or other weapon has been used for a criminal purpose.

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