101 firearms, 3000 rounds of ammunition surrendered during gun amnesty
A total of 101 firearms and 3,000 rounds of ammunition were handed over to the authorities under the gun amnesty, which ended recently.
Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, made the disclosure during the sitting of the House of Representatives on November 22.
The amnesty, which started on November 5, ended at midnight on Saturday, November 19.
Mr Holness said the amnesty was introduced to give persons who may be in possession of an illegal or unregistered firearm, whether criminally or otherwise acquired, the last opportunity to avoid significant sentences enshrined in the Firearms (Prohibition, Restriction and Regulation) Act, 2022.
“It has surpassed my expectations, but there are still many more, thousands more illegal firearms in our country and not to mention illegal ammunition,” Mr Holness said.
He informed that a number of the firearms turned in are from individuals who have not licensed the weapons for several years or who may have inherited them and did not bother to get them regularised.
“The amnesty was necessary to give those persons an opportunity to dispose of these weapons without having to bear the consequences of the new penalties under the new Act,” Mr Holness noted.
He informed that while the amnesty was ongoing, the security forces, within that two-week period, recovered 22 illegal firearms, noting that “it is unfortunate that a 15-year-old was among those caught in possession of an illegal firearm”.
“That 15-year-old was in the company of a 23-year-old. These are some of the harsh consequences that the society has to face,” Mr Holness said.
“Even though we all want to ensure that our young people are protected, the facts are that our young males, in particular, have been sucked into a gun culture,” he pointed out.
“I am sorry for him, and I wished that he did not have to face this fate, but we have to put our feet down firmly,” Prime Minister said.
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