Police issue month long province-wide gun amnesty in Saskatchewan
REGINA — Police across Saskatchewan are calling on people to turn in unwanted guns as part of a month-long gun amnesty.
The Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police is encouraging people to hand over their guns to local law enforcement agencies so the firearms can be destroyed.
“We don’t want to take the firearms that are used for a purpose for hunting and things like that,” Regina Police Service deputy Chief Dean Rae said Monday. “We’re taking the ones that people no longer want.”
Moose Jaw police Chief Rick Bourassa says there were more than 1,000 cases of unlawful firearm use in Saskatchewan between 2012 and 2016.
RCMP assistant commissioner Curtis Zablocki says Saskatchewan has some of the highest rates of adult and youth accused of firearm-related offences. Firearm-related crime has been increasing since 2013, he added.
“What we hope to see from it is, in the end, safer communities,” Zablocki said. “Sometimes these unwanted firearms and ammunition fall into the hands of people who should not have them. Ultimately, the incentive is to have safer communities in the province.”
The program, which runs from March 29 to April 27, is similar to a gun amnesty offered by the Regina Police Service last year. Regina police took in 157 firearms over the course of two weeks in an amnesty modeled after one in British Columbia.
Police say they aren’t aiming for a specific number of weapons and will look at making the amnesty an annual event depending on its success this year.
- Ryan McKenna
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