Weapons (illustrative)
Weapons (illustrative)Israel news photo: Flash90

Police have uncovered more than 2,000 weapons that were held illegally in northern Israel as part of an operation to reduce illegal weapons ownership.

Police in all northern districts took part in the operation, which saw officers working together with detectives, Border Police, canine units and the Yassam special forces.

Many of the illegally owned weapons were found after simply checking on the fate of weapons that were once legally owned. Officers found many owners who kept their weapons despite letting their registration expire, and children of legal weapons owners who kept a deceased parent’s firearm.

Some of the weapons had been kept for sentimental reasons, among them firearms dating back to the 1940s.

Northern District Police Commander Major-General Roni Atia said, “We will continue to invest our time and resources in locating and collecting weapons that are being held illegally, and whoever is caught with illegal weapons will be brought to justice.”

A new nationwide initiative aimed at gathering illegal weapons began this week. The initiative began with a grace period during which anyone who is in possession of an unauthorized weapon may turn in their weapon to police without facing charges, on the condition that the weapon was never used to commit a crime.