Surrey RCMP has launched a new program aimed at keeping guns off the street, but it’s not targeting criminals.
The “Safe City” program will see officers from the force, along with National Weapon Enforcement Support Team and Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit visit owners of restricted and prohibited guns whose licenses have expired to either bring them up to code or collect the weapons.
In a statement released late this afternoon, head of the Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bill Fordy said the goal is to keep the weapons from potentially ending up on the street.
“Our aim is to reduce the number of illegally owned and unregistered firearms in Surrey, as well as enhance public and police officer safety. The majority of gun related crimes in Canada are committed with guns that are domestically sourced.”
Police say the program was developed and planned prior to the recent crest in the ongoing wave of shootings in the city.
Surrey RCMP says a program of some form has been in place since April 1st, and the City of Surrey confirmed over 100 firearms have been turned in.
Anyone with an unwanted firearm is also encouraged to contact their local police via the non-emergency line and wait for officers to come and retrieve it.
Last week Mayor Linda Hepner, Public Safety Minister Mike Morris, and Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bill Fordy made a joint statement expressing their collective desire to do what it takes to stop the violence but made no mention of the program.
MP for and former mayor of Surrey Dianne Watts also signaled last week that an amnesty program could help address the violence.