Firearms Surrender FAQs

Q: Why are you running a surrender campaign?

A: The intention of the Firearms Surrender Campaign is to remove firearms from criminal availability, thereby reducing the risk of harm to the public, protecting our communities and reducing the likelihood that firearms will be available for criminal or terrorist use. The vision is therefore to improve the safety and wellbeing of the public by doing so.

The background behind this is, in 2017, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Criminal Use of Firearms (CUF) Lead, Northumbria Police, ACC Helen McMillan asked all police forces in England, Scotland and Wales to take part in a National Firearms Surrender campaign in November 2017.

Police Scotland confirmed their intention to participate in this campaign, however advised that it would be delayed in Scotland until 2018. The main rationale for this decision was based upon the then very recent air weapon surrender campaign - in 2017 - where firearms were also surrendered, and it was considered that a suitable period of time was required to elapse before undertaking a further similar national event.

Q: What weapons can I surrender?

A: Any unlawfully held firearms and ammunition. This will include replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, component parts and other ballistic items. If you have a firearm or imitation that is not required, hand it in.

Q: Where can I surrender a firearm?

A: Firearms should be handed to police and front counter staff at nominated polices stations. Please see website for further details.

Q: What is classed as a firearm?

A: A firearm is "a lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged”.

Q: Can I hand a firearm in after the surrender campaign close?

A: Yes, but not under the protection of the surrender campaign therefore any handed in weapon would require your full personal details to be taken on hand over of same.

Q: How should I transport a firearm to the nominated station?

A: Firearms should be transported as safely as practicable and preferably out of sight of the public. The weapon should be placed within a gun slip if available or alternatively covered.

Q: I don’t live near a nominated police station – can I surrender it to my local station?

A: All efforts should be made to attend at a nominated station however if this is not feasible, alternative arrangements may be made. Contact your local police station or 101 for further information.

Q: Do I have to provide my name and contact details when surrendering the firearm?

A: Personal details are not required for surrender of weapons unless being handed in by certificate holders where normal procedures apply.

Q: What will happen to the firearms that are surrendered?

A: The firearms will be destroyed in line with force procedures.

Q: Is this an amnesty campaign?

A: The amnesty applies to the time of surrender and not to the lifetime of the weapon.

Q: What are the opening hours of the police stations?

A: Standard station opening hours apply throughout the campaign, please refer to Police Scotland website for further details.

Q: What will happen to me if I am stopped in possession of a firearm by officers on route to the police station to surrender it?

A: Providing Police are satisfied with your explanation regarding possession, then surrender will be facilitated.

Q: I am not physically able to attend a police station to hand the firearm in – can other arrangements be made for this to be collected?

A: Yes. In this event, due to the exceptional circumstances, we can make arrangements to collect this from your home address however this will only apply in very rare occasions. Please contact your local office or 101 for further information and instruction.

Q: Can I hand in any other weapons during the surrender campaign?

A: Items not included in the surrender campaign will be dealt with in line with current force procedures.

Q: I know someone who owns a firearms but does not want to surrender it, what should I do?

A: Any potential criminality should be reported in the usual manner for Police Scotland to investigate fully.

Q: Do I need to unload my firearms before I surrender it?

A: Firearms should be handled and transported in as safe a manner as possible. For information regarding safe handling of weapons please liaise with your local police station or 101.