The first person to turn in a gun for BC Gun Amnesty month is 91-year-old Malendar Williams (middle). She turned in an Iver Johnson revolver from 1916 that she stored in her house for 50 years.

Nelson Police Department gunning for unwanted weapons

The Nelson Police Department hopes locals will follow the example of 91-year-old Malendar Williams

The Nelson Police Department hopes locals will follow the example of 91-year-old Malendar Williams who was the first to turn in an unwanted weapon during BC Gun Amnesty month.

Sgt. Dino Falcone says Williams’ unwanted weapon was a .32-calibre Iver Johnson revolver from 1916. She received the gun in 1962 from a family friend who asked her to store it in order to keep it away from the family’s young children.

“The family friend found the gun in the rafters of a basement in a home near the CPR yards,” says Falcone. “The unloaded gun has been wrapped in a cloth towel in Ms. Williams sewing room for over 50 years until today.”

On Wednesday, the Nelson senior handed in the weapon to police who hope this act may encourage other people to do the same.

June is BC Gun Amnesty month aiming to make homes, the public and policing safer by eliminating the number of firearms in communities.

“Unwanted weapons are a potential hazard,” says Falcone. “If they are not properly secured, they could be used by children, for example, to devastating consequences.”

Should these weapons be stolen during a break-and-enter, they could also be used in future crimes.

The amnesty gives people a safe way to dispose of weapons, related equipment and ammunition which they are not legally entitled to own, or that they no longer want.

In the 2006 province-wide gun amnesty, an excess of 3,200 guns were turned into police including 505 handguns and 725 other unwanted weapons. Also, 96,500 rounds of ammunition, a rocket launcher, and a machine gun were also turned in.

Falcone explains the NPD doesn’t just want any unwanted weapons dropped off at the police department. Call ahead to make special arrangements with officers who will come and pick up the firearms, weapons and ammunition.

Nelson police can be reached at 250-354-3919.

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