Jamaica Government Considering Gun Amnesty

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday June 6, 2019 – Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is giving consideration to implementing a gun amnesty as part of measures to curb gun-related crimes in the country.

And he has invited the input of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) on the proposal.

“We are contemplating a gun amnesty, and I would love to get what your thoughts [are] and how that can be executed, or whether or not we should actually have one,” he said while addressing the recent Jamaica Police Federation’s 76th Annual Joint Central Conferences. “My personal view is that it could be effective if done in a particular way, but we have to make a stand against guns in our society.”

A gun amnesty refers to the voluntary surrender of illegal firearms and ammunition by citizens.

The Prime Minister said the police must find ways to encourage citizens to disclose the location of illegal weapons, but also noted that people must feel safe when confiding such sensitive information.

“The citizens need to have the assurance that when they talk, they will be protected,” Holness said.

“In recent times, we have given significant rewards for information leading to the recovery of firearms and, thankfully, no one can say that the information that they have given has been disclosed. I believe we are doing much better in that regard.”

Prime Minister Holness also disclosed that legislation to amend the Firearms Act “is very close to being brought to Parliament”.

He said the Bill will create new categories of crimes for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.

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