“Give Up Your Gun”, and he comes with a Kalashnikov
Officers at Hammersmith police station could barely believe that someone would surrender an AK-47 assault gun on Friday November 27 as part of the “Give Up Your Gun” campaign launched by the Metropolitan Police.
For two weeks, between November 23 and December 6, Londoners can surrender their firearms anonymously at their local police station without facing prosecution for illegal possession.
Forensic experts, however, can analyse the weapons to determine whether they have been used in a crime.
The identity of the owner of the AK-47, a Russian assault gun popularly known as “Kalashnikov”, is thus protected and it is not clear how he first acquired the gun.
“We think it was a ‘war souvenir’ of some kind,” said policemen at Hammersmith police station.
“It was fully deactivated and it would have not been able to discharge any ammunition.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Chilton, Head of the National Ballistics Intelligence Service, said: “Gun surrenders provide an important opportunity for people to hand firearms over to police to prevent them falling into the hands of criminals and endangering the public.”
The Kalashnikov is considered to be the firearm that killed more people in the world.
Due to its popularity and availability among Soviet-aligned countries, it became the weapon of choice for guerrilla and terrorist movements around the globe. And a status symbol for gangsters.
An Ak-47 appears on the national flag of Mozambique and on the logo of the Lebanese Islamic movement Hezbollah.
The “Give Up Your Gun” campaign has run for a second year, after new legislation passed in 2014 increased the maximum jail term for illegal gun possession from 10 years to life.
Met officers said that in 2014 they recovered over 600 “lethally barrelled” firearms in the streets of London, mostly belonging to gang members.
Through the “Give Up Your Gun” initiative, they recovered another 350 firearms.