Collaborating on the initiative is Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) and the entire House of Assembly, along with the Commissioner of Police and the Governor, in a campaign to reduce the number of firearms on the streets.
The Firearm Amnesty, to begin the first Monday in April, will conclude on Easter Monday, April 18, 2022, to coincide with the end of the Lenten season.
“During this time, persons can turn over prohibited weapons and unlicensed firearms along with other offensive weapons to any police station without fear of prosecution for illegal possession of the weapon. Among other illegal weapons in the Territory are daggers, flick knives, gravity knives and knuckle dusters,” the RVIPF said in a release.
Meanwhile, some in civil society have already criticised what effectiveness the amnesty would have, given the alleged poor performance of past amnesty initiatives on the subject.
Pastor of the new life Baptist Church, Bishop John I. Cline has said that persons would be reluctant to hand over guns since it is used to assure a feeling of protection against criminals carrying guns.
However, according to the Commissioner of Police, Mark Collins, the amnesty will declare a ceasefire to mark a new beginning for the VI regarding illegal guns.
“This is a truce, a peace treaty of sorts. All my officers know that no one can be arrested or prosecuted if an illegal weapon is surrendered during the amnesty period.”
“In turn, we are asking that these weapons be handed over to us whether directly or through a trust person. We want to restore our tranquil way of life, a peaceful co-existence. We can begin on April 4”, he said.
According to the RVIPF, police have confiscated 23 firearms within the last month and a total of 45 within the last four months.