Indigenous communities to receive firearms by July month-end

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Residents of Indigenous communities in Region Seven (Cuyuni/Mazuruni) will receive their firearms and licenses at the end of July, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock has said.

In April of this year, a team headed by Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan and included Minister Allicock was set to deliver license and firearms to several communities in Region Seven. However, the inclement weather had forced a cancellation.

Minister Allicock said the cancellation might have been a blessing in disguise.

“The postponement did not happen by accident, because just to take in the license or the permits without the firearm was not the best thing to do, but we wanted to satisfy the persons there.”

He said the postponement has also given Ministry an opportunity to get access to more firearms for the residents and for them to “gather up their money.”

“The feedback is that it has given persons the opportunity to get their money,” the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister said.

In April, the team was scheduled to meet with residents of 11 indigenous communities at Chinoweng, Phillipai and Kamarang. In addition to the firearms, they were also taking along 121 permits to distribute to the residents. However, weather reports coming out of the region advised against the trip.

Members of Indigenous Communities in 2015 had participated in the Ministry of Public Security’s gun amnesty programme, relinquishing their unlicensed firearms. The ministry’s plan was to regularise the system, to allow for every firearm holder to be licensed.

Of the 140 firearms received from Region Seven indigenous villages, during the amnesty of 2015, only nine of were serviceable and were being returned to the respective owners. [Extracted and modified from Department of Public Information]

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