New gun law takes effect as amnesty ends

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By Martina Johnson
[email protected]
From today, anyone found guilty of unlawful possession of a gun will face jail time.
That’s because, according to Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, the minister of public safety, the Firearm (Amendment) Act is now in effect since the legislation was gazetted yesterday.
“Anyone found in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, the court will be under an obligation to make certain that those persons are incarcerated, except of course in very special circumstances where the Court has a discretion to take other action,” Benjamin said.
An offender convicted before a magistrate can be jailed for a maximum of two years.
A copy of the amendments can be found at the government printery and eventually, will be posted on www.legalaffairs.gov.ag
Up to last night, it was not available on the website.
The law has taken effect just as the gun amnesty granted by the government from October 15 to November 15 ended.
Benjamin told OBSERVER media that during that period, not many guns were turned in.
“We have had three firearms turned in and several rounds of ammunition. I am very disappointed that many more persons did not take advantage of that situation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister said a reward of $20,000 is still being offered to anyone who provides the police with information that helps them catch and convict people with illegal weapons.

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