One-month gun amnesty in Antigua
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – National Security Minister Errol Cort has announced a one month gun amnesty with immediate effect, as part of a six point crime-fighting plan discussed by the security forces.
“During this period members of the public are invited to turn over to the police, at any police station, all illegal firearm and ammunition in their possession without being penalised in anyway,” Cort said.
“For those persons with illegal firearms and or ammunition who may prefer to surrender them to their attorneys at law and then have their attorneys turn them over to the police, this too will be admissible.”
The National Security Minister said although there has been a reduction in serious and violent crimes authorities have to be proactive in their approach.
Cort said the amnesty is unconditional and would cover guns used to commit serious crime including homicides.
He said the gun amnesty is designed to give those who are carrying illegal weapons a chance to turn them in without reprisals.
But he warned of tough penalties for those illegal firearm holders who fail to comply.
“At the end of amnesty period I will seek cabinet and parliamentary approval to impose stiff minimum sentences for persons in possession of illegal firearms and or ammunition.”
The other measures include expansion of neighbourhood watch programmes, the expansion of the drug abuse programme and the provision of specialized training for defence force personnel so they can provide back up for the police. (CMC)