The first province-wide gun amnesty is being hailed a success.
The Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police organized the program to collect firearms between March 29 and April 27.
Residents were encouraged to surrender their unwanted weapons in the hopes they wouldn’t fall into the hands of criminals or be altered in order to conceal them.
In that time period, 336 rifles, handguns, prohibited weapons and even an antique weapon, were handed in by owners who no longer wanted them.
As well, 32 pellet guns and even one starter pistol were surrendered, along with several pounds of ammunition.
“They will not now fall into the hands of anyone in our community that may use them for a criminal nature,” explained Dean Rae, deputy chief of Regina Police Service (RPS).
The RPS joined police services in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Estevan and Weyburn along with the RCMP and the Saskatchewan Environment Resource Management to encourage owners to give up their guns.
RCMP Inspector Maureen Wilkie said they were “extremely pleased” with the effort to take unwanted forearms off the streets and out of the hands of potential criminals.
While most of the weapons will be destroyed, a few may end up being displayed at the RCMP museum in Ottawa and to collectors in the United States.
Two of the rifles collected by RPS date back to the pre-WW1 era and are worth several thousand dollars. It will be up to the families to decide whether they wish to sell them or keep them as heirlooms.
It hasn’t been decided whether the province-wide gun amnesty will be repeated in the future.