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DPP endorses gun amnesty

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Dominica Sherma Dalrymple has endorsed the gun amnesty announced by the government from October 1-31, 2023, and is encouraging those with illegal weapons to use the opportunity to turn them in since they will not be prosecuted.

In an interview with DBS Radio, DPP Dalrymple had this to say, “I am urging the general public to take advantage of the gun amnesty granted.”

“The friends of the perpetrators with firearms, the girlfriends, mothers, grandmothers, need to take advantage of it and get them to surrender it,” she said.

“I would also like to take another twist to it because the DPP is usually on the frontline in the courts fighting these matters (firearm-related offenses and trafficking of firearms) and possession of illegal firearms, I would like to remind the public that the legislation makes provision for individuals to be both fined and confined.”

“As of recent, the courts have taken a particular approach where custodial sentences are being given, so, in that regard, I urge the public to take advantage of the firearms amnesty and be guided that in court you no longer will be paying a fine because the office of the DPP is recommending to the court that custodial sentences be given and the sentencing guidelines ought not to be followed because of the public’s interest in these matters and the increase in firearms-related offenses in Dominica,” she said.

Catholic Priest Fr Branker John and a few lawyers and pastors on the island have publicly pledged their support for the one-month gun amnesty Fr. Branker has also asked those with illegal weapons who are scared of bringing them in to take them to him and he will carry them to the police.

“I will assist you, bring them to me, drop them by me and I will take them to the police, I am tired of burying these young people who are victims of gun violence, we need more young people,” he said.