The Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police has announced Saskatchewan’s first province wide gun amnesty program.
From March 29th to April 27th, residents in the participating communities of Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Estevan, Weyburn, Corman Park, File Hills, Dalmeny, Caronport, Wilton and Luseland will be able to turn in unwanted firearms to local law enforcement at no cost or criminal charge.
Moose Jaw Police Chief Rick Bourassa said due to rising gun related crime in all areas of the province, this program had to be put in place.
“If we look back at the statistics for Saskatchewan from 2012-2016, what we see is police have had over 1000 incidents of unlawful firearms use in the province,” he said. “That number has grown through those years.”
Deputy Chief for the Regina Police Service Dean Rae says in terms of a number of firearms they’re hoping to collect, they haven’t established that and don’t plan on it.
“When we did ours, we were hoping for one, we ended up with 157,” stated Rae. “This is just an opportunity for people to get rid of unwanted firearms.”
The program, as mentioned, has run before on a local level, as back in February 2017, Regina Police recovered 157 firearms.
Rae says as it regards to recovery, there is protocol residents must follow.
“We ask the members of the public to call into the local detachments and let them know they have something they want to turn in,” said Rae. “In our case, we will send somebody out to pick up that firearm from them.”
Residents wishing to dispose of unwanted firearms are strongly advised to not bring in any gun or ammunition into local police detachments whatsoever.
(With files from Drew Postey)