During the period Saturday September 12 to Wednesday December 23, 2020 individuals in possession of any unregistered or unlicensed firearms can submit them to any Police Station without being prosecuted; once the illegal firearms were not used to commit a crime.
The Commissioner of Police, Steve Foster today announced the Firearms Amnesty programme, which will be in place for a 3-month period. During this time, firearms can either be surrendered or handed in to an Officer at any Police Station, or the Police can make arrangements to collect unregistered firearms.
Part of the role and function of the Commissioner of Police is to register and license firearms and ammunition to suitably authorised persons. Any person who holds or carries a firearm and or ammunition without a license, commits an offence. However, during the amnesty period, illegal firearm owners will have a chance to surrender these weapons without being charged.
Individuals who are legal owners of firearms can also take them to the Police Station.
“I am also calling on authorized firearm holders, who are no longer capable of holding a firearm for medical or any other reason, to feel free to surrender those firearms at any Police Station or the Police will make arrangements to collect the weapon from you,” stated Commissioner Foster.
He noted that individuals who surrender their weapons will be contributing to ensuring that Montserrat is remains a safe community. “We all have a responsibility to help to keep Montserrat safe and by surrendering your unregistered and or registered firearms in this ‘Firearms and Ammunition Amnesty’, you will be playing your role in creating a safer community here on Montserrat,” explained Commissioner Foster.
Meanwhile, over the past four weeks, the Montserrat Customs and Revenue Services (MCRS), the Integrated Border Security Unit (IBSU) and the Royal Montserrat Police Service have been carrying out a number of multi-agency joint operations aimed at enhancing community safety.
The goals of the joint operations was to target illegal immigrants, counter drug activities, take unregistered or illegal firearms off the streets, and ensure stricter enforcement of the immigration and other related laws.
During these operations two unregistered or unlicensed firearms were recovered by the Police in separate locations on Montserrat. The Commissioner said, “One of the weapons is a high powered 357 Magnum Revolver, a very dangerous piece of weapon along with 23 rounds of ammunition; and the second, is an instrument which was adapted and converted for use as a firearm. Both firearms will be checked on the Interpol ballistic system and the USA E-trace to identify the original owner, and whether they have any links to crimes which have been committed.”
The Commissioner further noted that one person was arrested and the police are following leads as the continue their investigations, and may be close to an arrest in the second firearms incident.