Jamaican Government Embraces Gun Amnesty To Curb Current Crime Wave

The Gun Amnesty was yesterday tabled in Parliament by Minister of Security, Dr. Horace Chang, as part of the solution in curbing the current crime wave. It comes in response to the cries by citizens and other stakeholders for the gun amnesty to be implemented as part of the national crime-fighting initiative.

According to the Star, the Minister said, “this amnesty will allow persons who are in possession of illegal firearms to surrender these firearms and ammunition to the state without prosecution.”

In the interim, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced a new reward system campaign that is primarily geared at gunmen. Based on this campaign, they will be rewarded between $250,000 and $500,000 for each illegal weapon turned over to the state.

The amnesty, once passed, will facilitate the surrendering of illegal firearms and ammunition to the state without any penalty being incurred by the person doing so. This is in keeping with the Government’s plan to give citizens a fair chance of surrendering illegal guns in their possession.

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The gun amnesty bill has been proposed to repeal and replace the Firearms Act with a new gun law which will be aimed at eradicating the illegal possession and use of illegal weapons as well as to curtail the rapid growth in guns in the country.

It also seeks to clamp down on the illegal manufacturing, trafficking, and possession of illegal arms with the administration of stricter penalties focussed on generating a change in the heart of those that continue to undermine the efforts of the police.

The country has been under siege over the past years due to gun violence, and according to Minister Chang, over the past 25 years, there have been on average 1270 murders yearly attributable to the use of illegal guns.

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