Parents and relatives who know that their loved ones are in possession of illegal guns have been told to hand those firearms over to police, Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson has urged.
The Interior Minister has also declared his belief that there are too many licensed gun dealers in Barbados.
Hinkson’s advice to turn over illegal firearms comes ahead of a one-week gun amnesty to begin on Saturday, April 7, in which guns and ammunition can be freely handed in to any police station.
“We are urging the relatives, those who live at home where the guns are to bring them in too. Don’t be frighten for your son, your grandson, your nephew, you are protecting him when you do this, when you bring in the guns.
“The bullets, the ammunition, whatever, you have 168 hours. We have had gun amnesties in the past that have not been as successful as the police had hoped they would be. Let’s hope that this one is more successful,” Hinkson said.
The Home Affairs Minister, who formerly held ministerial responsibility for the Police, until they came under the Attorney General’s portfolio, said he was continually bombarded with requests for gun licences.
But he maintained that arming civilians was not the solution to the current crime crisis.
“That is not the answer to the problem. I would like every gun removed from Barbados except those that the police would have and the Barbados Defence Force. I don’t see why somebody should have a gun.
“This is not America where there is some constitutional right to bear arms… I don’t know why somebody should have any constitutional rights to bear arms and that is not so in Barbados. Let us remove all the guns from around this place.
“My opinion too is that there are too many licensed gun dealers too, too many people who could sell guns legally. We need to cut that down as well. This is not any military state and we are calling on all those who have these firearms and this weaponry and ammunition, bring them in next week.”