The Government of Dominica has announced a gun and ammunition amnesty from October 1- 31, 2023 to encourage holders of illegal firearms to turn in their weapons.
Minister for National Security and Legal Affairs told a press conference on Thursday, during this period people can surrender their unregistered firearms without fear of legal repercussions.
“Based on current affairs, as the Minister for National Security, I have felt the need to propose that another gun and ammunition amnesty be offered to the nation for a period of one month.
“The amnesty is directed at two distinct groups of people. Firstly, those who know they are in possession of illegal weapons or ammunition, and secondly those who are perhaps innocent custodians of a weapon or ammunition and possibly even unsure as to its legal status, but too frightened to do anything about it,” he explained.
He called on citizens to play their part to make Dominica a safe place for all.
“It is clear to see that the loss of life, particularly our young men, has become a national problem and so we must act now. Therefore, if you are aware that your loved one or friend has an illegal firearm and ammunition, encourage them to surrender these items.”
Illegal firearms and ammunition can be surrendered at any police station on island.
Dominica has recorded 14 murders for the year as of September 27.
According to Chief of Police, Daniel Carbon, eight of these crimes involved the use of illegal firearms. Two of the firearm-related murders and seven out of the 14 total murders have been solved.
He said the police will engage in a number of policing activities to curb the incidence of gun related crimes including increased mobile and foot patrols in the City of Roseau and out-district communities.
“This is a special operation where the police will also be out throughout the nights. This will continue throughout the festive season up to the end of the year and may continue depending on the situation at the time,” he noted.
Police will conduct house searches for illegal firearms and ammunition, institute vehicle checkpoints and conduct joint operations on land and sea, Carbon revealed.
Ten additional police officers have also been deployed to Grand Bay to provide support.