From small handguns to assault rifles, Colchester District RCMP Staff-Sgt. Allan Carroll has seen many firearms come into the detachment.
“They come in through seizures, sometimes when a search warrant is carried out or there’s a domestic situation,” he said. “Some of them are found during traffic stops. There are also some voluntarily turned in.
“We have shotguns, handguns, hunting rifles, pellet guns, even bayonets. People sometimes think things like this aren’t in our back yard, but these all came from Colchester County during the past two years.”
Carroll said fake firearms are seized if they’re realistic looking and used in a threatening manner.
Sometimes, family members bring in firearms after the owner’s death. Some weapons are even found by people out walking or clearing a building.
The RCMP works with the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team, which checks databases to see if they’ve been used in crimes.
The detachment recently sent 90 of these firearms to be destroyed by NWEST and is holding about 60 more that are part of ongoing investigations or are still needed for other reasons.
“Once the court process is complete firearms can be destroyed,” said Cpl. Stephen Smith.
After they’re taken by NWEST, the weapons are physically cut up to ensure parts cannot be reassembled into functional firearms. Metal parts are then sealed in a container, which is escorted by armoury employees to a contracted facility for melting down. The melted metal is recycled.
Carroll said the RCMP will take any firearms to get them off the street. They do ask that anyone planning to drop off firearms call ahead.