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Prime Minister Andrew Holness is appealing to persons who are in possession of illegal weapons to give them up and to use the information channels available to provide information on where illegal guns can be recovered and gunmen arrested.

The Prime Minister’s appeal comes as the Government rolled out “Operation Get Every Illegal Gun”.

Noting that there are several key elements to the “Get Every Illegal Gun” campaign, the Prime Minister said some are highly confidential and have already considerably increased the capacity of Jamaica’s security forces to detect guns, as has been demonstrated over the last month, through the “surgical” finding of more and more guns and gunmen.

Describing other elements of the plan as public facing, the Prime Minister said as the operation takes effect, the public should be given enough advance notice and warning, so that they cannot claim ignorance and unfairness. This, as very soon the penalty for possessing an illegal weapon will be significantly increased.

The Prime Minister said, “In a few days, we will take a new Illegal Firearms Bill to Parliament, which will create several new offenses, in addition to possession, which when taken together will make it very risky to have anything to do with a gun or a gunman.”

Meanwhile, as the security forces increase their operations targeting guns and gunmen, the Government is putting in place a multi-million-dollar fund that will significantly increase the reward for information leading to the recovery of illegal firearms, as well as rewards for information provided that leads to the arrest of persons involved with or in possession of the illegal guns.

Prime Minister Holness said all the elements taken together will change the risk/benefit structure around illegal guns, “Presently, the risk for owning an illegal gun is relatively low, compared to the benefit that a gunman gets. With the new policies, laws and capabilities coming into effect, the risk of being involved, in any way, with an illegal gun or a gunman, will far outweigh any perceived benefit from possessing an illegal gun.”

The Prime Minister was speaking today (February 4, 2021) at the official opening of the Andrews Mews Recreational Centre, 155 Olympic Way in his West Central St. Andrew, Constituency.

The numbers to call to report illegal guns are:
Police Emergency 119
Crime Stop 311

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