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Rahming announces plan for gun amnesty to reduce violence on streets

State Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Lisa Rahming.

State Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Lisa Rahming.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

A TWO-WEEK gun amnesty is to be called for by Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander to help reduce gun violence in the country. 

State Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Lisa Rahming said it is time to “give it up and bring it in” as she announced the planned initiative yesterday, saying Commissioner Fernander would seek a declaration for the amnesty programme from Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis.

Ms Rahming said the initiative is part of the Urban Renewal and Royal Bahamas Police Force’s “Say No To Guns” campaign, which she said will be launched shortly.

 She said people who surrender illegal firearms will not be prosecuted. However, she added they will also not be rewarded.

 “Gun violence has been endemic and remains a pervasive issue in some of our communities for too long,” Ms Rahming said during her contribution to the Budget debate in Parliament yesterday. “We cannot let another young person be gunned down and just step over their body or create a video and circulate it around to social media.

 “It’s not enough to just blame the Minister of National Security and the security forces. We really must join forces to do something that says enough is enough.”

 She said Urban Renewal will be sharing flyers and organising community walkabouts and campaign rallies to encourage people to join in the effort.

 Ms Rahming pointed to recent crime statistics which she said show 168 firearms were recovered so far for the year.

 5,339 rounds of ammunition have also been recovered, she added, while 243 adults have been charged for firearm possession.

 “The commissioner of police will be seeking a declaration for a two-week gun amnesty by our honourable Prime Minister, which will give persons in possession of illegal firearms the opportunity to surrender these weapons without jeopardy and prosecution,” she said.

 “Let me make it clear, there will be no reward for money to surrender any illegal firearm. You will not be paid. The stark reality is that there may be some of us who may have inherited a firearm from a husband, grandfather, or uncle who may have had it locked in a safe and just paid no attention to it.

 “We say time to give it up and bring it in.”

 She issued the same plea to people who have firearms just to protect themselves.

 “We are only providing an opportunity for them to surrender the firearm because we believe if just one weapon is taken off the streets, that reduces the chances of that being used in criminality.”

 She said National Security Minister Wayne Munroe and Commissioner Fernander will give more details about the programme.

 News of the initiative comes as the country grapples with a recent spate of murders, with three murders recorded in the past five days.

 Yesterday, Ms Rahming also announced plans to launch a Second Chance programme, an initiative meant to help people who served time in prison enter the jobs market.

 “The overarching goal is to equip formerly incarcerated males with the view of rehabilitating them and giving them a second chance of being a productive member of society,” she said.

 “The participants will enroll in a six-month programme that focuses on healing just as much as it focuses on developing work readiness skills.”

 She said the programme will consist of in-class academic studies, on-the-job training and apprenticeship.

Comments

bahamianson 1 year ago

Inmy humble opinion, minister , you have it wrong. It sounds good to say, but reducing guns on the street does not reduce violence. If people are inclined to be violent, they will be violent with a stick, knive, car , or gun. The gun is a tool to carry out the violence intended. It is good to reduce illegal guns , not legal guns. Legal guns are not the issue. It is the illegal guns that are they problem. So , let's get to the primary schools and high schools teaching kindness, respect and civility. Let us get to the parents to reinforce what is taught by the teachers, that's how you reduce the mindset of violence. A tool , like a gun , is not violent. Get the churches preaching about respct , and honor. Get the civic groups encouraging respect for people and property. Have televisión, Internet promotions about respect and family. Have billboards around town addressing the issue.

quavaduff 1 year ago

Yes do all of those positive things you reference but don't fool yourself, guns are the problem. Just look North to the US to see the insanity and death that guns bring to society. Yes sticks, knives and cars can kill as well but the gun call kill many in the blink of an eye and does daily in the US. The Bahamas is wise to maintain a no gun policy and should even pay a fee to anyone handing in a gun to avoid falling into the gun insanity that is the US.

LastManStanding 1 year ago

A certain demographic is responsible for the vast majority of gun violence in the United States, which by coincidence is the same demographic responsible for virtually all of the gun violence here. Funny how nations like Switzerland don't have a problem with gun violence despite widespread proliferation of firearms. The real problem is low impulse control + high time preference + below average IQ + access to a deadly weapon (knives, guns, whatever). Magically getting rid of every single firearm in this country wouldn't reduce the murder rate a single bit.

mandela 1 year ago

A good gesture, but it won't work, in two weeks if five guns are turned in that would be a miracle. Criminals are not going to, so then who?

quavaduff 1 year ago

If you pay say $200 per gun, folks will turn them in. Mommas will turn in their sons weapons for $200, saving lives and enforcement dollars far exceeding the $200 payment.

Engineer 1 year ago

In many jurisdications there is a no questions asked gun buy back program by the authorities. Think about the cost savings when a gun is not available in a crime incident. Many will be turned in just to make a few dollars. Think about the logic of this!

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