Guyana government not considering amnesty for illegal firearms

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Guyanese government says it is not considering an amnesty for people with illegal guns saying it does not believe that the initiative would be a success.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, speaking at a news conference on Thursday, said that instead, the Irfaan Ali administration would be seeking to step up enforcement efforts.

Jagdeo told reporters that the previous administration had implemented a gun amnesty that wasn’t successful and he believes that people who possess guns illegally, particularly those weapons used in crimes, would not surrender those firearms even if there was an amnesty.

“If you don’t have a permit for a weapon, then there should be strong enforcement and if you are found with it there should be strong enforcement.

“This amnesty business has not been considered in the government,” Jagdeo said, adding that the government is focused on introducing more technology in crime-fighting efforts.

Earlier this week, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn said while the Guyana Police Force (GPF) had recorded a 17 per cent decrease in serious crimes, there were also increased  incidents of murders and gun-related crimes.

Figures show that for 2023, a total of 149 illegal firearms were taken off the streets and Benn said investigators found that the illegal firearms do not originate from Guyana but are, in fact, imported.

But despite the situation, Benn said also the ministry will not be conducting a gun amnesty programme.

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