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Amnesty Announced for Guns, Prohibited Weapons

BVI News

7 January 2015

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With the amended Firearms and Air Gun Act (2015) now in effect, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) said it has launched a firearm and prohibited weapons amnesty that will run throughout the month of July.

The RVIPF hopes persons will use the opportunity, in light of the increased prison terms likely, to turn over all illegal or prohibited weapons in their possession to police.

Commissioner of Police David Morris noted that persons found in possession of an illegal weapon can be made to spend up to 15 years at Her Majesty's Prison.

"With the introduction of this legislation, persons who are illegally in possession of a firearm can be sentenced for a minimum term of five to 15 years. Our aim, however, is not to incarcerate persons for lengthy sentences."

"Our goal is to rid the streets of illegal weapons. We are hoping for the cooperation of families, friends and community in successfully clearing our streets and homes of all illegal weapons. Hence, we are launching this amnesty to encourage persons to surrender their unlicensed or prohibited firearms before it is too late," said the Commissioner of Police

The amnesty for firearms and prohibited weapons is running from today (July 1) until July 30. "Surrender illegal and prohibited firearms or weapons to any police station at any time during this period and there will be no questions asked. For more information, call the RVIPF three digit access number, 311," added the RVIPF.

Back in May of this year, the RVIPF, in a press statement, listed a number of items that are illegal or prohibited under the amended law. IT SAID:

- All shotguns and paint ball guns are prohibited. Current licenced owners are now required to hand these weapons in to police. Owners can apply to the Commissioner of Police for an exemption under section 7(2) of the Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act 2015. Exemption can also be granted by National Security Council.

- Also prohibited is any firearm made up in the form of a propelling pen or pencil that is capable of being used for discharging gas, bullets, shot, dye or pyrotechnic flares, OR is capable of discharging any irritant in liquid, powder, gas or chemical form, pyrotechnic flare or dye, or any article known as a paint ball.

- Prohibited also is any firearm that appears to be some other article such as a walking stick, cane or key ring in order to disguise or conceal the fact that it is a firearm, AND any cannon or other weapon which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant – even if it is intended for life-saving or distress-signaling purposes.

-Also prohibited is any device known as a power-head that can be attached to the end of a spear gun and is designed to propel a projectile by means of an explosive, AND any electrical weapon such as that which is commonly known as Taser.

The RVIPF in May stated that persons can view the entire list of prohibited firearms under the new Firearm and Air Gun (Amendment) Act by visiting the Virgin Islands Gazette website

ID: N424

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