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The government offers a one-month gun amnesty

Minister of National Security Rayburn Blackmoore has announced that effective October 1, 2023, to October 31, 2023, the government of Dominica is offering a “firearm and ammunition amnesty'” for persons with illegal firearms and ammunition to turn them in to the police without being prosecuted.

This comes in the wake of the number of firearms-related offenses (14) to date in Dominica.

At a press conference, Blackmoore stated that the fight against illegal firearms and the use of those firearms to cause “harm and bring death to others is not one that can be fought by the authorities alone.”

“The Government and the police have to remain vigilant but must also be innovative in finding ways to curtail and discourage the use of illegal firearms,” he said. He went on to explain that some of the ways that they have already begun to tackle this problem are through more robust policing techniques and review of legislation through the engagement of a Consultant Drafter.

“The Government is now adding to these measures, a gun and ammunition amnesty that will commence from 1, October 2023 to end on 31, October 2023, you will recall that such an amnesty was offered in 2007. A gun and ammunition amnesty is a period of nonprosecution that allows people to surrender their unregistered firearms without fear of legal repercussions,” Blackmoore stated.

According to him, the amnesty is directed at two distinct groups of people, “those who know they are in possession of illegal weapons or ammunition and those who are perhaps innocent custodians of a weapon or ammunition and possibly even unsure as to its legal status, but too frightened to do anything about it, now is your opportunity to surrender those illegal firearms and to play your part in making Dominica safer for all of us.”

“It is clear, to see that the loss of life particularly young men, has become a national problem and so we must act now. Therefore, if you are aware that your loved one or friend has an illegal firearm and ammunition encourage them to surrender these items,” he said.

He also explained that the illegal firearms and ammunition can be surrendered at any police station anywhere on the island.