Matt Mendel of Wanstall’s with a Lee Enfield Model T sniper rifle, used by the Canadian army in the Second World War.

Firearms amnesty underway in Maple Ridge

The amnesty allows people to surrender any documented or undocumented firearms, including restricted or prohibited weapons.

This month is the time to get rid of that old rifle in the basement that you’re worried about, thanks to the provincial government’s firearms amnesty.

Just don’t take the weapon down to your local police station. They take a dim view of that sort of thing.

Instead, just give police a call and they’d be happy to drop by your house and pick them up.

The last time that a firearms amnesty took place was in 2013, when people in B.C. surrendered at total of 1,801 firearms, 155 other weapons, as well as ammunition.

The amnesty allows people to surrender any documented or undocumented firearms, including restricted or prohibited weapons, such as fully automatic weapons.

“We know that firearms, weapons, and ammunition are often stolen during break-ins. This month-long amnesty is the perfect opportunity to keep a potentially deadly weapon or firearm from landing in the wrong hands,” said Minister of Public Safety Mike Morris.

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents have another option that’s available year-round.

Wanstall’s Hunting and Shooting will pick up your firearm at any time of the year, and if it’s worth anything, will pay you.

Often, people will just drop them off at the store if they can transport them legally.

But if you don’t have a licence, store personnel will stop by your house.

Store personnel can also determine if the firearm has any historical value. That happened earlier this year when someone gave them a Lee Enfield Model T sniper rifle used by the Canadian army in the Second World War. It even came with the case and the stamps that showed its progress around Europe during the war.

“They’re probably one of the rarest Second World War firearms you can come across,” said Matt Mendel, with Wanstall’s.

Resale value for something like that can range between $5,000 and $20,000.

If the weapons are prohibited or restricted, Wanstall’s will turn them over to the police.

“A lot of time, what people are handing in are not fully automatic machine guns or AK-47s – those are very uncommon in Canada.”

More often, it’s just old hunting rifles or single shot .22 calibre rifles that are just sitting in the basement from decades ago.

“Some people want to keep their grand dad’s .22 and stuff like that.”

Often, the firearms are in perfect shape and end up going to the crushers, which as a firearm fan, he doesn’t enjoy seeing.

Keeping the old firearms around also allows people who can’t afford a new one to get into the sport.

If that’s what they want to do, Wanstall’s can help people apply for a possession and acquisition licence for the firearm so they can legitimize ownership.

 

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