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Last Updated:  Saturday, 29 March, 2003, 12:13 GMT
Gun amnesty to be launched
The mothers of four girls who were shot in Aston will be launching a month-long firearms amnesty across the West Midlands.

Charlene Ellis, 18, and Letisha Shakespeare, 17, were shot dead in Aston on 2 January.

Charlene's twin sister Sophie and 17-year-old Cheryl Shaw were also injured in the incident.

Their mothers Marcia Shakespeare, Sandra Thomas and Beverley Thomas, will launch the amnesty on Monday.

People in possession of these weapons should be under no illusion that following the amnesty anyone found in possession of firearms will face severe penalties
Chief Constable Paul Scott-Lee
During the amnesty, which runs until the end of April, people will be able to hand in firearms and ammunition to any police station in the region without being prosecuted for illegal possession.

The move follows the introduction of new sentences for illegal possession of prohibited firearms - which could result in a minimum five-year sentence for those convicted.

As well as prohibited, unlicensed and unwanted firearms, officers are encouraging people to hand in air weapons and imitation guns, which are frequently used in crime.

West Midlands Chief Constable Paul Scott-Lee said: "People in possession of these weapons should be under no illusion that following the amnesty anyone found in possession of firearms will face severe penalties."

The amnesty, which includes a presentation from the Bishop of Birmingham the Rt Reverend Dr John Sentamu and Birmingham poet Moqapi Selassie, will be launched at the community fire station, in Rookery Road, Handsworth.




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