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Samoa Parliament Passes Gun Amnesty Bill

Radio New Zealand International (Pacific shortwave)

20 July 2006

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Samoa's parliament has passed an urgent amendment bill establishing an amnesty period for the surrender of illegal firearms.

The newly passed amendment will give power to the minister of police, to set up firearms amnesty periods.

Police Minister, Tole'afoa Fa'afisi Apulu, says the first amnesty will start next month after the Head of State officially endorses the new bill.

The amendment bill has prompted a call from the Opposition deputy leader, Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai, for a total ban on owning firearms.

He has also suggested to parliament that the penalty for owning illegal firearms should be life imprisonment, the same sentence as that for murder.

ID: N18

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