‘Toss your guns into Police Stations’ – Benn calls on public to surrender illegal weapons


Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn is urging persons in possession of illegal firearms to hand them into the nearest police station and without a gun amnesty programme in place, he is recommending that these people toss the weapons into the police station or place them someplace where the police can find it.

“The situation about gun crimes and holding and having illegal guns, we are not going to doing any amnesty.

“Those who have guns (illegal) should walk into the nearest police station and give them up or put them somewhere. You are not supposed to have them.

“If you have an illegal gun, pass by the police station, put it in a bag and throw it in the yard,” Benn told reporters at his year in review press conference on Wednesday morning in the presence of the Commissioner of Police and other officials.

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn (Photo: Ministry of Home Affairs)

It was revealed that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) recorded a 17 percent decrease in serious crimes with a more than 60 percent clear up rate for the year 2023.

But despite this, incidents of murders and gun-related crimes have been on the increase. In fact, for 2023, a total of 149 illegal firearms were taken off the streets, placing the issue among one of the challenges for last year.

Benn said investigations found that the illegal firearms do not originate from Guyana but are, in fact, imported.

But despite the situation, Benn said the ministry will not be conducting a gun amnesty programme.

According to Benn the authorities are “thoroughly” against the possession of illegal firearms which is said to be linked to drug and criminal activities.

“We don’t want to have a society in which people have guns all over the place,” he said.

To address the issue, Benn said the ministry is working with its international partners to amend the legislation so that stricter penalties can be imposed on persons found carrying illegal firearms.

“I don’t know how people get bail for having an illegal gun…They shouldn’t be given bail,” he said.

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