Katya Slepian/Black Press
Close to 1,200 firearms were returned province-wide to the RCMP as part of the October gun amnesty.
Police and officials announced at a news conference at the B.C. RCMP headquarters in Surrey on November 10 that 1,184 firearms, including replicas, were turned in last month, following 690 requests to remove firearms and ammunition.
“The firearms that were retrieved included 543 rifles, 223 shotguns and 222 handguns,” said B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Chief Cst. Les Sylvan. “In addition, British Columbians also asked police to remove thousands of rounds of ammunition, limited explosives, and a large number of replicas.”
This is the third gun amnesty the province has held in the past decade. The previous two were in 2006 and 2013 and yielded more than 5,000 firearms.
The number of firearms retrieved per city didn’t depend on the size of the city. According to Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, 109 were returned in Kelowna, 74 in Surrey, 67 in Delta, 52 in Saanich, 57 in North Vancouver and 46 in Vancouver.
The Ashcroft detachment retrieved two rifles and five shotguns, while the Clinton detachment retrieved two rifles. The Kamloops city detachment retrieved 35 items, including six handguns.
“As we said at the beginning of this amnesty, the goal would be simple: reduce the number of illegally held and unwanted weapons in B.C.,” said Sylven, emphasizing that there was no desire to remove legal guns from licensed owners.
The event operated on a “no questions asked” basis unless the guns were involved in criminal proceedings, he added.
“People found themselves in possession of something that is no longer lawful—perhaps grandparents brought something back from a different time—and took advantage of this opportunity to remove that potential risk,” said Sylven.