In an effort the rid the streets of illegal firearms and reduce gun crimes, the Ministry of Public Security is looking to introduce a programme through which amnesty can be granted to persons carrying these illegal weapons.
Public Security Minister and Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan has announced that persons are being encouraged to surrender these illegal weapons when period for the amnesty commences in the near future. He made the disclosure on Wednesday morning while meeting with businessmen in the Berbice region.
He said the process and terms under which the official pardon will be granted is currently being worked out.
“We are urging these persons to stay tuned and bring in these firearms for which the period will commence soon… we believe there are too many illegal guns on our streets and in the system,” Ramjattan added.
He explained that if persons are caught with illegal firearms after the period for amnesty has closed, they will be slapped with the full penalty of the law.
Ramjattan said the government will also be looking to address the issue of Guyana’s porous borders since it is believed illegal weapons make their way across the bordering regions.
Last week, the Minister told News Source that scores of firearm licenses, awaiting his approval, have been set aside as new standards and criteria are being introduced for the approval of gun licenses.
The applications which have been put on hold would have already received the approval of the respective Police Commanders, the Police Commissioner and the Firearm Advisory Board.
The National Security Minister disclosed that he is already familiar with the changes he is likely to institute but refused then to share the details.
Under the former government, there were complaints of “un-entitled” persons being granted gun licenses while others who had matched the criteria were being denied for seemingly discriminatory reasons.
Additionally, the frequent incidents of holders of licensed firearms using those weapons to commit criminal acts and intimidate and harm citizens has also given rise to a call for review and appropriate revocation.
Guyana continues to see an increase in gun crimes despite several efforts to tackle the problem.