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Friday 8 January 2016 | Published in Regional


APIA – IN Samoa, more than 300 guns were handed in to police during a recent firearm amnesty which lasted for two months.

This was confirmed by Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, who said the amnesty gave members of the public a chance to hand in their unregistered and illegal weapons, without any questions asked.

The final day was December 31, 2015. Since that day, anyone else who turns in a weapon will be charged with illegal firearm offences.

Similarly, members of the public who still have illegal weapons in their possession risk being charged when they are caught.

The Commissioner would not deny or confirm a plan to extend the amnesty. But he said two months was more than enough time for the public to hand in their weapons.

“One gun off the street makes Samoa a little bit safer,” he said.

Looking at the outcome of the programme, he said they had initially hoped to collect more than a hundred guns.

The fact that they collected three times that target was a positive sign, he said. “It was a great success,” he added.

Police Commissioner Keil was also grateful for the support from the Samoa customs office.

He said they had handed over 19 weapons they intercepted and confiscated at the borders of Samoa.

He added that the police and customs have a very close relationship to keep Samoa safer.

Keil also thanked his staff for their hard work in collecting the weapons.

“They stood up and they took in the challenge, they collected them and documented then.”

He also thanked members of the public who took the initiative to hand in their weapons as well as the Australian Federal Police for their contribution.

- Samoa Observer