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Underworld figure scoffs at Gun Amnesty

A display of guns and ammunition

A leading figure in the Underworld of Crime on the island believes that the recently instituted Gun Amnesty by the Dickon Mitchell-led Congress administration to lessen the illegal guns on the island will turn out to be a failure.

“The approach of the amnesty is a failure,” said the individual in an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY.

According to the source, given the current climate in Grenada with criminal activities and even before the recent spate of killings among persons involved in the drug trade, a hand gun on the streets is currently being sold at between $3000.00 and $6000.00 and people will not easily hand it over to the authorities.

“I know a lot of man who does go and work construction for two and three months just to buy a gun. Even if those men reach a situation and come to the conclusion that I don’t want my gun no more and let me change my life, just by not offering them nothing in this type of times, most men will be reluctant.

“Even if you offer them a grand ($1000.00) and it depends on whether it is a .22 … it depends on the calibre of gun ad you get a little bit more incentive, some men will say I will rather accept that because even self if I give up my gun I won’t be brokes, I could still rally for a week.

The underworld figure pointed out that the no incentive policy being adopted can see the authorities losing out on help from a grandmother in the household who might know that her grandson has a gun hiding somewhere and might be thinking of calling the police and inform them where the weapon is, in exchange for a monetary contribution

“She might call the police and say, go dey and dig up I believe somebody hide something dey,” he said, adding that with no incentives it is very difficult to see some people co-operating with the police on the gun amnesty.

The underworld insider pointed out that in the current climate of an upsurge in criminal activities, the holder of an illegal firearm will rather sell his gun to someone who will take a risk or take steps to sell the gun in demanding markets like St Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago.

“…Guns are in demand on the market and the money is high. So why it is that a man will give up his gun freely after he go and work for 3 months to go and buy one?”

The underworld figure also alluded to the fact that most countries have offered “different incentives” over the years as part of their gun amnesty legislation and even that did not work in places like Jamaica and Trinidad that went further and established a gun court.

He noted that the children of many Grenadians have a tendency to gravitate towards guns and wondered what will happen if the children of some of these government ministers and close family members fall into the trap and get caught with illegal firearms.

He urged the government to think more along the lines of finding “the middle ground” in handling illegal firearms in the country and not just instituting “draconian laws” to handle the situation.

He stated that an amnesty is now in place but questioned who are really going into the schools and community centres and meet with the people to discuss the issue.

“Who on the radio, TV – where are the advertisements? You are going to wait until a month before (it expires) and start doing something to educate the public.”

“I think them people (NDC Government) have a more sinister motive. I don’t think they are serious about solving crime with this approach. They want to solve crime from a legislative standpoint and that can’t work.”

“If you check the history of crime any time the economic situation in a country start getting difficult and the people start getting hopeless then they will resort back to that (crime).”

According to the underworld figure, he is wondering if the NDC administration is not really trying to create “a sense of uncertainty and fear with the Gun Amnesty in order to allow them “to put in certain legislation to keep certain things in check.”

He warned the regime that “it is not just one way or angle to fight crime” because they could also be neglecting the other aspects in addressing the situation.

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