Gun amnesty programme will be tried for one month

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[File Photo]

gun[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Public Security Gun Amnesty Programme, which provides for persons to hand over unlicensed firearms and ammunition to the authorities without facing prosecution, will take effect from September 1.

Contrary to what is being reported, Second-Vice President and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, told the Government Information Agency (GINA), that the programme will be tested for one, not two months.

Minister Ramjattan also noted that the programme is one in a box of options that will be utilized to reduce the level of crime, violence and insecurity in the country.

“As it were, we have to do a lot more to prevent these arms and ammunitions from coming in through the very long borders that we have with Brazil and Venezuela and even those brought through custom security,” Minister Ramjattan said.

He said that reducing the number of illegal firearms on the streets and gun-related crime will be a hard task, but one that the new Ministry is prepared to try.

“We are trying and one of the things that we will have to try is this option of voluntary handing over these illegal weapons to the police station,” he said.

The Public Security Minister said that it is important that the gun amnesty programme be given a trial in Guyana, pointing out that the measure has been tried and tested in many other countries and has proven to be a very useful option of getting illegal weapons off the street.

Minister Ramjattan explained that his office is currently drafting the order to ensure the operationalisation of the amnesty, which would be gazette very soon. He said too that the Ministry is working to finalize all the places where members of the public who want to, can voluntary turn in their weapons under the programme.

He said that churches and faith-based organisations that already work with the Force on the ‘Cops and Faith Programme’ will be involved in overseeing the gun amnesty period and collect the firearms.

The Minister also restated the need for those who have illegal firearms to take   advantage of the amnesty period, or instead face harsher penalties for failing to submit their illegal weapons within the period.

“Those who are then caught with an illegal firearm after the amnesty period will have to face the full brunt of the law after (the amnesty),” Ramjattan said.

He pointed out that the penalty is largely a jail term for being in unlawful possession of a firearm.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Stipid, if guns were issued then there will be records to get them back. These guns that are being used by criminals are the guns from other sources. And who believe that criminals will return guns……Rum-jaath-tan at his wild guess again

  2. Will the authorities check each gun handed in – if any- to verify if they were used in murders or other armed robbery ? Will those persons who may have illegal guns just drop them in a bin and no questions asked ? It’s An amnesty so whether any was used in armed robbery or murder, then it seems that many unsolved murder cases would just be shelved/ closed. Go Ramjattan, let’s see how many guns would be handed in. Ask Granger to help you get back those AK 47’s he loaned to the PNC when he was head of the army.

  3. Amnesty is a great step ! It must be persued relentlessly …..innovation must also be applied e.g. …..getting NGOs and churchs involved. This will enhance the desired results:” Getting all illegal guns out of the hands criminals and potential criminals.”..There should be no turning back…….Review ” all ” gun licenses issued by the previous administration over the lasf twenty years. This will reveal strange , ugly and frightening facts……..The attack on this run-away-gun crime must not be up for empty debates !

  4. This was done by LFSB Granger should get back the guns that GDF loan, not forgetting those AK 47 that was stolen by the Kits and Kin an arm of the PNC.

  5. A more productive technique might be a “buy back” program. With guns in the hands of the most vulnerable in the society who are on “hire to kill”, a buy back may induce them to get an income. Another means to an end.

  6. Ramjattan when in opposition to PPP/C represent criminals. If Ramjattan had a functioning brain he would be very dangerous knowing that criminal bandits terrorists will never surrender their tools (guns) to him or anyone for that matter. How stupid is Ramjattan really is? Did the 2 am curfew on business stopped the killings and crimes? You bet the young ladies and youth men are finding other ways to party at 2 in the morning. What Ramjattan should do is go watch-man all the youngsters he was asked to protect since community leaders the religious organs cant stem the vulgarity that takes place in the wee hours of the mornings.

  7. With all due respect Mr.Minister the law and the courts must also be on board to hand down much more stiffer minimun mandatory sentences to those who will still carry guns dispite efforts to have them comply. In America a small sum is also offered to those turning in guns. It is here the business community can get up off their money and assist in this effort. I suppose for some of them it is easier to only criticize or wring their hands. The time has come for ALL OF THEM to put their money where their mouth is. Gun crimes are a threat to all Guyanese.

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