PM Andrew Holness reveals why amnesty must be implemented on guns before the Firearms Act


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Prime Minister Andrew Holness has indicated that “out of fairness and equity”, a gun amnesty are implemented for a brief period of your time, because of the increased penalties under the new Firearms (Prohibition, Restriction and Regulation) Act. 

There are criticisms since Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, first announced the approaching gun amnesty in Parliament during closing debate on the new Act last week. Many have argued that holders of illegal firearms might not choose to turn over their weapons, though they’ll not face prosecution for doing so. 

Holness sought to produce more clarity on the rationale behind the gun amnesty at Wednesday’s passing-out parade ceremony for 300 police constables prevailed the compound of the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ) in Twickenham Park, St Catherine. 

He noted that it’ll be left up to the Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, and therefore the Parliament to work out the shape of the amnesty will take. 

In relevance the new Act, he’s expecting that it’ll become law shortly after being passed within the Senate. 

“Every Jamaican, be aware, be forewarned – the penalties have increased significantly,” Holness advised. 

The consequential amendments made to the Offences Against the Person Act will increase penalty provisions for Sections 13, 16 and 17 by including a compulsory minimum sentence of 15 years for offences involving the employment of a firearm. 

In addition, under section 20(2), the mandatory sentence has been increased from 15 years to twenty years, to keep with the proposed penalty regime within the current Bill. “… and since we’ve increased penalties significantly, the govt of Jamaica will implement, for a really short time, a period of amnesty,” explained Holness on Wednesday “Immediately, there are people who scoff at the amnesty: 

‘Which bad man a go hand over dem gun?’ Well really enuh, i do not want you to convey it up, i need to catch you with it. So don’t provides it up! “… But out of fairness and equity, out of enough forewarning, in order that you cannot are available front of the judge and say, ‘Your Honour, I didn’t know’, we’ll implement a period of amnesty,” 

the prime minister outlined. Thereafter, he said: “The law are executed to its fullest.”

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