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Swedish amnesty sees 800 guns handed over in a single week

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Swedish amnesty sees 800 guns handed over in a single week
Some of the weapons handed in were automatic. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT
12:22 CET+01:00
Nearly 800 weapons have been handed in to Sweden's police, just one week into the county's latest amnesty.
At least one comes from what police called "the criminal environment", handed in by a person who said they wanted to start a new life. Several were automatic weapons. 
 
"Just getting in the weapons is part of the special effort against criminal environments during the amnesty," Joakim Norenhag, the policeman leading the project said in a press release.
 
"We believe quite simply that some weapons would not come in unless we offered to pick them up." 
 
The amnesty comes after a year when the news has been dominated by shootings,  with 320 taking place over 2017. 
 
A total of 792 weapons have been left at police stations or collected by police from homes around Sweden since the amnesty began at the start of this month. 
 
The police's southern region, which includes the city of Malmö, saw the most weapons handed in, with 219 collected, after which came Stockholm with 171 and the western region, which includes Gothenburg, with 141, leaving 261 for the rest of the country. 
 
Under the amnesty, which will last until the end of April, police undertake to take in illegal, unregistered weapons without asking questions about their origin, or further questioning those who deposit them. 
 
More than 15,000 weapons were handed in during the last amnesty in 2013, and police are hoping for up to 13,000 to be handed in this time.
 
Amnesties were also held in 2007, when 13,000 firearms and 14 tonnes of ammunition were relinquished, and in 1993 when 17,000 firearms and 15 tonnes of ammunition were handed in.
 
Sweden's government plans to launch an amnesty for hand grenades this October, after a surge in grenade attacks in the country. 
 
The police are advertising the amnesty with videos on Youtube in Swedish, and information sheets in Arabic, Dari, Tigrinya,  Somali and Persian. 
 
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