Minister of National Security and Labour, the Hon. Dr. Errol Cort has joined forces with the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda in issuing a call to the public to turn in illegal firearms.
With an increase in the number or crimes committed using illegal firearms, the Security Minister is encouraging Antiguans and Barbudans to assist the police in removing illegal guns from the nation’s streets.
According to Minister Cort, the police force will need to adapt an aggressive stance regarding the issue but acknowledges the need for the public’s cooperation in eradicating the problem.
Firearms are not manufactured in Antigua and Barbuda or within the region and the relevant authorities’ question how [illegal] firearms are making their way onto the streets of the twin island state.
During an address, the Minister of National Security said that so far for 2012, the police have removed a total of fourteen (14) illegal firearms off the streets of Antigua and have confiscated sixty-four (64) rounds of ammunition.
The Ministry of National Security is getting set to launch a series of campaign against unlicensed/illegal firearms as early as next week with a series of Public Service Announcements in the media.
Minister Cort said the police will also be launching their own set of initiatives geared towards reducing gun violence and removing illegal firearms from the streets. He said the police and defense forces will double their efforts against the occurrences of breaking and entering on the island.
Out of the four (4) homicides recorded thus far for the year, three (3) of them were gun-related.