Police are urging licensed firearms owners to ensure their guns are secured correctly during the shooting season, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

The campaign is being coordinated by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) on behalf of seven police forces across the eastern region (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent), to remind gun owners to keep their guns secured both in the house and when taking them from one location to another.

Each summer police typically see an increase in reports of the theft or loss of firearms, as the wider shooting season begins.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Dowty, strategic firearms lead for ERSOU, said: “We know that licensed firearm holders in the UK are amongst the most responsible members of our society.

“However, mistakes can happen and firearms can occasionally be left unsecured either in a house, gun club or vehicle.

“Unsecured firearms represent a real threat to public safety – they are more vulnerable to falling into criminal hands, or being involved in accidents.

“That’s why we’re reminding firearm certificate holders, registered firearms dealers, members of shooting clubs and anyone involved in the shooting community to take the time to ensure their firearms and ammunition are secure at all times.

“In particular, as we are now in the main shooting season, we are urging those who will be enjoying events to plan their journeys and consider the implications of having their firearms with them as they travel.

“Don’t leave them in your vehicle unattended. Ensure all firearms are properly secured in slips or boxes, and locked in vehicles out of view when in transit and when at an event, make sure you gun is never left unsecured or unattended. ”

Certificates to hold firearms are issued with strict conditions stipulating the safe and secure possession of firearms at all times, including laws on how guns should be kept secure when out and about. Failure to comply with these conditions could lead to prosecution and/ or the authority to hold firearms being withdrawn.

For further information about firearms licensing, visit Firearms licensing – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or your local force website.

If you are a licensed gun holder and you notice anyone acting suspicious around your house or gun club, please contact police immediately on 101.

By Ed

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