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Last Updated: Monday, 14 April, 2003, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Police handed World War II guns
More than 200 guns have been handed in to police
Sixteen Browning machine guns dating back to World War II have been handed in to police in Telford as part of the national firearms amnesty.

The weapons were handed in anonymously at the police station in Malinsgate and are thought to have been buried for a number of years.

West Mercia Police say the guns are around four feet long and it is likely they were originally mounted on an aircraft.

Police say there is very little chance they would have been used in any crime, but stress the ongoing amnesty is for all kinds of firearms - even ones as unusual as this.

Banned handguns

The national firearms amnesty was launched on 31 March by the mothers of two teenagers shot dead outside a New Year party in Birmingham.

In the first two weeks of the amnesty, nearly 200 firearms have been handed in to the police in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

They include 37 banned handguns and 59 shotguns.

More than 2,700 rounds of ammunition have also been handed in, as well as 25 knives or similar weapons.

A West Mercia Police spokesman said the force was pleased that so many weapons had been taken out of circulation.

The amnesty, which is the first since a similar appeal in 1996 following the Dunblane massacre, will run until the end of April.

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