Police mount spot checks on shotguns and other weapons in Herts this week

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Firearms amnesty is planned next month, too

Police in Herts are mounting spot checks on holders of firearms certificates this week as part of a national drive to inspect safety procedures and offer advice.

Officers are checking that gun owners are storing their weapons securely, reducing the risk of accidental injury and preventing firearms falling into the hands of criminals.

Forces across the country are making unannounced visits to addresses where firearms are registered, to make sure that all weapons are beyond the reach of anyone who is not authorised to use them.

The county force stresses that Herts remains one of the safest counties in the country and has little gun crime, and the visits will also give owners the chance to raise any concerns or questions.

Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “People in Hertfordshire who enjoy gun sports or collecting firearms as a hobby or business are responsible in their ownership.

“However, owning a gun brings with it an obligation to ensure that it doesn’t come into the possession of someone who is not responsible or even dangerous.

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“Fortunately there is little gun-related crime in the county and it is through campaigns such as this that we will continue to keep this type of crime low.”

Chief Supt Jane Swinburne added: “We are confident that the vast majority of licenced firearms holders in the county are fully aware of their obligations and do take the necessary security measures.

“However, even one gun falling into the hands of a criminal is too many, so we are carrying out these checks to ensure that firearms cannot be accessed by criminals either through burglary, theft or negligence.

“We also wish to avoid unfortunate accidents that can result from unsafe and insecure storage at people’s homes.”

More information on the guidelines for firearms owners can be found at www.herts.police.uk/advice/firearms_licensing/security.aspx.

The force will be holding a firearms amnesty between November 10 and November 21 to give anyone who possesses an unwanted firearm the opportunity to surrender it.

Anyone who has concerns around any firearms licensing issues can contact police on 01707 806126 or email BedsandHertsFLU@herts.pnn.police.uk for advice.

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