SOME OF the recent weapons seized by Terrace RCMP.

SOME OF the recent weapons seized by Terrace RCMP.

Gun amnesty declared in June

Terrace RCMP will come by and pick up unwanted weapons

CONSTABLE ANGELA Rabut lays out the firearms on a table in an interview room of the local RCMP detachment.

There are two .32 calibre snub-nose revolvers and a small side-by-side double barreled weapon called a pepper shooter that resembles a derringer – all three seized when officers went to a domestic assault call and subsequently found a marijuana grow-op.

There’s also a weapon that looks like it started life as a .22 calibre rifle.

But it’s been home-modified with the fashioning of a pistol grip and a shorter barrel.

“There’s no reason for this weapon other than criminality,” says Rabut of the modified .22.

It was seized by officers at a traffic stop. They smelled marijuana and found the weapon, complete with scabbard, when searching the vehicle.

Now in the hands of the police, the weapon wasn’t claimed within a 30-day period and now will be destroyed.

“I wonder why,” says Rabut.

The RCMP detachment set up the display to promote a province-wide gun amnesty for the entire month of June.

Gun amnesty poster

Provided the weapon being turned in wasn’t used during the commission of a crime, police won’t take any action against the person surrendering the weapon.

“It’s very important you don’t come to the detachment carrying firearms in your hands,” Rabut says.

Despite the amnesty, it is still illegal to carry an unlicensed or illegal weapon in your vehicle.

“So give us a call and we’ll come to your home,” Rabut continued.

The advantage of the amnesty is that, pending a check to determine if the weapon may have been used during a crime, there are no questions asked.

Without the amnesty, people can turn in weapons but it is up to the discretion of the police to determine if further action might be taken.

On occasion, said Rabut, guns turned into the police are those found by next of kin after a relative has died.

“What we really want to focus on during the amnesty is getting guns off the streets that may be in homes but aren’t properly secure,” she said.

“If a person who ends up with a weapon has no interest in it, it can be left unsecured in a basement or somewhere and just forgotten.”

Rabut says she’s surprised at times by the number of guns collected by people which are then found after the person has passed away.

And one weapon, a rifle, was found by someone in their backyard. It apparently had been tossed there during the winter and came to light as the snow melted.

In 2012, three guns were turned in at the detachment and 17 in all destroyed.

In 2011, five guns were turned in and 13 in all were destroyed.