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Guns 'Killed'

Newsday (Trinidad & Tobago)

15 October 2011

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Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday donned special protective gear as she manned a large saw and destroyed a gun — one of 1,650 weapons comprising illegal firearms and obsolete firearms from the Defence Force — which were destroyed over the past week.

The PM accompanied a team of security officials including National Security Minister John Sandy and Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs at a ceremonial firearms destruction event at the Police Academy in St James.

Yesterday's event also marked a two-week project run by the United Nations Office for Disarmament's Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), whose officials were in this country training 60 security sector personnel to destroy firearms and ammunition in cooperation with the Government, as part of joint efforts to combat the illicit trafficking in firearms, strengthen the capacity of the country's security forces and reduce armed violence in Trinidad and Tobago and the region…

In her address, Persad-Bissessar said 2,577 illegal guns were seized between 2006 and 2010…

She told reporters the cut-up guns would then be melted down at a smelter…

She said gun stockpiles are a major source of illegal weapons. "Destruction is irreversible, hence the best way to ensure that surplus weapons and illicit firearms including those confiscated from criminals do not find their way back into the hands of those who threaten the lives of the innocent and the security of communities."…

ID: N431

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