A two-week gun amnesty has been launched in Merseyside to give people in possession of illegal firearms the opportunity to hand them in.

The surrender follows a change in the law which has now made it illegal for certain antique firearms to be owned by members of the public without appropriate certification.

The new legislation came into effect on September 22, 2021.

The UK has some of the strictest gun control legislation in the world and comparatively low levels of gun crime.

These changes will help to further restrict criminal access to firearms and better protect the public.

Chief superintendent and head of investigations, Mark Kameen, said: "The harder we make it for criminals to get their hands on a gun, the more content I feel knowing that the wider public are protected against being threatened or even killed by someone in possession of one.

"This change in the law means that those legitimately owning an 'antique' gun can still do so, providing they have the correct licence.

"During this two-week surrender, we would welcome any dangerous weapon being handed in to us, in particular the now illegal antique guns.

"We know some people who own one of these weapons with no criminal intent may be reluctant to give in their gun as it could have sentimental value or be a decoration of some sort.

"We ask you to put this attachment to one side and look at the bigger picture – what if someone broke into your home and stole this and used it to harm someone else?

"What if a child accidently managed to fire it and harm themselves?

"It is safer for everyone if you work with us and prevent an incident taking place by handing in your gun before it's too late.

"Please do your part to protect your friends, family and neighbours.

"I fully support the change in the law and I hope that you do too and recognise this as a positive step forwards."

The cartridges (and any associated guns) that will require licences to be legally-held are:

•.320 British (also known as .320 Revolver CF, short or long)

•.41 Colt (short or long)

•.44 Smith and Wesson Russian

•.442 Revolver (also known as .44 Webley)

•9.4mm Dutch Revolver

•10.6mm German Ordnance Revolver

•11mm French Ordnance Revolver M1873 (Army)

If you have a gun, please call 101 and a police officer will come to you to make the weapon safe and seize it.

For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-0012021-antique-firearms.

You can also contact Merseyside Police’s Firearms Licensing Team at https://www.merseyside.police.uk/ar/applyregister/fao/adf/contact-fal/.