PM Drew announces firearms amnesty

Minister of National Security, Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew, has announced a gun amnesty which will begin on 10th May, 2024.

This came a day early on Thursday as the prime minister rose to make remarks following the second reading of the Firearms Amendment Bill 2024.

Dr. Drew said both the bill, and the amnesty, were conceptualised to thwart the ongoing threats gangs and gun violence pose to the country. 

During the amnesty, which runs until 25th May, 2024, illegal arms and ammunition can be surrendered by any person to any police station, or to an any attorney-at-law, without question or fear of prosecution. 

“Our overarching behavioural change plan, and especially in relation to gun related incidents, take numerous forms: 

  1. Strong legislation to deter gun crimes, that is what we’re doing here today; 

  2. Strategic, efficient policy through community interaction, technological support and provision of modern tools;

  3. Through science based investigation and detection mechanisms; 

  4. Modern legislation to provide for [a] swift, but fair…criminal justice process in the courts and, 

  5. Firm prosecution,” said Prime Minister Drew. 

“The time has come for us to make a profound shift,” the prime minister continued, “and I want to say to the young men, if you are in possession of an illegal firearm or ammunition, if you are harbouring such items for others, if thoughts of wielding a gun cross your mind, the moment for transformation is now.

“If this bill is successful today…I will implement a gun amnesty that will take effect tomorrow, Friday, May 10th, 2024 and end 15 days after on Saturday, May 25th 2024.”

Dr. Drew reiterated that any weapons surrendered will be done completely anonymously: no information has to be given by the person surrendering the gun and law enforcement officials are not to request or record the information of persons turning them in.

He also pleaded with people who may not own the illegal arms and ammunition, but are harbouring them or the people who possess them at their homes, to encourage their loved ones to take advantage of the opportunity for a clean slate the government is offering. 

“If you are knowingly allowing your family members, friends, associates, to keep illegal guns and ammunition in your house, then now is the time to talk to them…and to take advantage of the gun amnesty starting tomorrow and turn in their guns and ammunition,” said Prime Minister Drew.

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Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew. (File Photo)

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