The Guyana Police Force (GPF) in collaboration with the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) will be intensifying their pursuit of gun smugglers amid a surge in gun-related crimes. This is according to Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn.

During his press conference on Wednesday, the minister disclosed that while there has been a 17% reduction in serious crimes, authorities have concerns in relation to the availability of firearms in the country. He reminded that firearms are not manufactured locally, as such, guns are imported.

The minister added that the GPF and CANU are actively dismantling illegal gun smuggling rings to curb the availability of such weapons in Guyana.

“We don’t want to have a society in which people have guns all over the place…” the minister said. Last year alone, authorities seized 149 guns. Minister Benn acknowledged Guyana’s economic growth as attracting criminal elements for nefarious criminal activities.

“Both CANU and the police have been seizing guns throughout the country, from various persons hoping to commit crimes or protecting marijuana fields,” the minister added.

Moreover, he reassured that authorities are collaborating to identify entry points for firearms.

Benn continued, “While there has been in fact a reduction in robbery under arms, using firearms, we are indeed concern about the question of the use (and) the availability of firearms in our country.”

Historically, he noted that there is also the issue of guns in control of public security agencies finding its way into the hands of criminals.

As such, the minister urged those in possessions of illegal firearms to lodge them at the nearest police station, as he highlighted that the government will not implement gun amnesty.

“Those who have guns and shouldn’t have them, they should perhaps walk into the nearest police station and give them up or put them somewhere they can be found,” Benn suggested.

“You are not supposed to have any illegal guns…We are thoroughly against it…” the minister said.

The Home Affairs minister said too, “If you have an illegal gun pass by the police station put it in a bag and throw it in the yard… I believe if somebody is found with an illegal gun and you have known associates no bail should be given, I don’t know how people get bail for gun possession.”

He disclosed that there will be funding from countries like Canada and Germany to aid in strengthening legislation pertaining to gun crimes and drug possession in Guyana.

Addressing concerns over the misuse of firearms by licensed holders, Minister Benn announced a review of licences issued under the previous administration. He also expressed his dissatisfaction with persons putting their weapons on display, particularly in social settings.


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