Two men arrested after handgun found in van driving through Litherland

The men were arrested for gun possession amid a two-week arms amnesty across Merseyside.

Two men were found with a handgun in Litherland on Tuesday.

Two men were arrested in Merseyside after a handgun was found in the van they were driving through Litherland.

Police officers recovered the weapon after they stopped the vehicle on Dunningsbridge Road around 11:25 on Tuesday morning.

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The men, aged 34 and 33, were arrested and have now been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

The firearm has been recovered for forensic examination.

Detective Inspector John Fitzgerald from the Firearms Investigation Team said: “The recovery of any firearm means it can no longer be used to cause fear in our communities.

“If you suspect that weapons are being stored, carried or used where you are, please let us know.

“You can contact us directly or anonymously via Crimestoppers but however you get the information to us, we will take action.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact us via @MerPolCC on Twitter or ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook. 

Merseyside Police started a two-week ‘gun surrender’ in the region on Monday following a change in law about antique guns.

Why is there a gun surrender in Merseyside?

The Government introduced new legislation on 22 September which means owners of certain firearms previously regarded as antique are now required to obtain a licence.

The Home Office said the changes are aimed at protecting the public by making it harder for criminals to get their hands on antique weapons.

Minister for Policing and Crime, Kit Malthouse, warned that criminals have been exploiting a “grey area in law” to obtain the firearms.

He added that people may own an antique firearm as a collector or have a family heirloom and urged those who do to either licence them or legally dispose of them.

Public urged to give up weapons

Merseyside Police Chief Superintendent and Head of Investigations Mark Kameen said: “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.”

Which weapons need a licence under new legislation

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)

What should antique gun owners do now?

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

For more information, visit the gov.uk website.