News from the OPM

No Extension of Gun Amnesty Warns Prime Minister

No Extension of Gun Amnesty Warns Prime Minister

Prime Minister Appeals to Persons illegally in possession of firearms or ammunition to turn them in as the Firearm Amnesty draws to a close at the end of tomorrow, Saturday 19, November 2022.

With just over 24 hours until the Gun Amnesty expires, Prime Minister Andrew Holness is appealing to anyone in possession of an illegal or unregistered firearm to turn them into the nearest police station or directly to the Firearm Licensing Authority, FLA.

The Prime Minister has indicated that the government will not extend the amnesty. Prime Minister Holness said persons in possession of unregistered weapons, or firearms falling in their possession by the death of the licensed owner, or in possession of ammunition, which is unregistered for whatever reason, should avoid being caught under the stronger penalties of the new Firearm Act, and turn in such weapons and ammunition.

Prime Minister Holness noted that already, over 70 weapons have been turned in under the Gun Amnesty. He said he believes there are many more persons who would want to turn over weapons, but they may be fearful or uncertain. He is reassuring those persons that the security forces and the firearm authority have conducted the amnesty in an exemplary manner and there has been no breaches of the guarantees of confidentiality and no prosecution under the amnesty. You can trust the process.

Prime Minister Holness has warned that the security forces will now intensify search operations for guns and the gunmen that possess them. He said, “While it is good to take illegal guns off the street, the impact on the homicide rate is greater if the shooters are also caught and arrested”. “Already there have been several persons arrested for illegal possession of firearms, including a teenager. They will face a minimum of 15 years behind bars and possible life in prison. I am making a solemn and urgent appeal to our young men in particular, I implore you, even at this late stage, turn in the guns. Illegal possession, use, trafficking, or storing, of an illegal firearm, will effectively end your useful life when you are caught, but it will save the lives of hundreds of innocent and productive Jamaicans. The security forces will be focusing on intensive searches, snap raids, and targeted operations to get the gunmen with their guns. Again, I urge anyone with an illegal firearm to turn it in. You have been warned.”