Around 90 weapons recovered under the Gun Amnesty, says Andrew Holness

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More than 90 weapons were turned in to the police during the two-week Gun Amnesty that ended at midnight on November 19.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness disclosed the number of guns handed in while discussing the steps his Administration is taking to stem the current levels of murder in the country at the Jamaica Labour Party’s 79th Annual Conference at the National Arena on Sunday.

In fact, the JLP leader admitted that he didn’t expect “so many”.

“This surprised me, I didn’t expect so many, but there are still thousands of illegal guns all across Jamaica,” Holness said.

He disclosed, too, that more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition were handed over during the period.

The two-week Gun Amnesty took effect following the approval of the Firearms (Prohibition, Restriction, and Regulation) (Firearms Amnesty) Order 2022, as the last opportunity for those who hold or are in possession of illegal firearms or ammunition to avoid significant prison sentences by surrendering their weapons.

“We went out of our way to give the amnesty and to give warnings. They did not heed it. Well, you know the Jamaican saying, ‘If you can’t hear, you will feel,” Holness said on Sunday.

The prime minister also pointed out that before the conference he got a note from the police that they conducted a snap raid at two locations, found a firearm, and arrested four people.

He made it clear that the strategy of the police and the military would change.

“There are those who believe that we are only searching for firearms – no. Taking the firearms, discovering it without finding the person who brought it in or who is using it, is not enough,” Holness said. 

“We are going to be conducting searches and we want to find the people who are importing, the people who are looking, the people who are distributing, and the people who are shooting the firearms.

“We want to lock you up for good,” Holness said, adding that the police are intensifying their search.

“I call upon every well-thinking Jamaica to support the fight against illegal weapons. 

We will be making lucrative rewards for persons who give us information for the recovery of illegal firearms and the arrest of those persons responsible for them,” the prime minister said during his party’s conference on Sunday.

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