Those in the community with illegal firearms have a glorious opportunity to surrender them to the authorities without being charged, thanks to a Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (TCIPF) gun amnesty, triggered on March 1.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Rodney Adams made the announcement via news release.
As a matter of fact, in addition to no charges being laid for the illicit guns, the acting police commissioner stated that the yielders of those weapons could end up getting paid.
Adams, in the news release stated that the gun amnesty became necessary because there has been a proliferation of such weapons in the Turks and Caicos Islands, which he said posed a threat to life and property.
“As acting Commissioner of Police, I am pleased to announce that in partnership with Her Excellency the Acting Governor, (Her Excellency Anya Williams), the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, pastors, and other stakeholders across the Turks and Caicos Islands, a firearm and ammunition amnesty will commence from Tuesday, 1st March to Thursday 31st March 2022,” Adams said in the news release.
He urged persons to use the period to turn in illegal guns that might be their possessions.
“All residents or visitors with an unregistered firearm and or ammunition are encouraged to surrender them to the police during the amnesty. In return, you will not be prosecuted for possession of these illegal weapons during the amnesty period,” Acting Commissioner Adams assured.
He added: “You can also qualify to claim a voucher value up to $500 for firearms surrendered. You have an opportunity to help remove illegal guns from our communities. Let’s together build safer communities across the TCI.
“Please embrace this opportunity as we work together to reduce the number of illegal firearms in our communities. We all have a duty to play our part.”
According to Acting Commissioner Adams, statistical evidence, and data from other open sources clearly supported the theory that too many residents and visitors in the Turks and Caicos Islands have over the years suffered as victims of violent crimes where firearms were used during those attacks.
He said the unfortunate steady proliferation of illegal firearms and firearm-related crimes in the TCI was a major concern to all law-abiding citizens and visitors to these shores.
“The propagation of illegal firearms has the potential to destabilize the TCI economy should this continue. While the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force have (sic) had some measure of success in recovering some of these weapons, it is evident that a number of weapons are still in the possession of individuals illegally and in some cases, they are ending up in the hands of persons that are willing to use them to commit serious crimes.
“We must agree that there are far too many illegal firearms readily available within our communities. As members of this society, we all have a responsibility to do something about it by encouraging persons holding unregistered firearms to do the right thing and surrender these weapons to the Police,” Adams further stated.
He said, too, that a number of households locally host illegal guns and ammunition, after the owner of the weapon no longer resides here, but because the firearm(s) were held illegally the current occupants of the house or relatives did not know how to dispose of them appropriately.
“I wish to let these persons know it is a danger to the entire community to keep firearms and ammunition illegally in any home or business.
“These weapons can be discovered by a burglar. Thus, you have in effect armed a criminal, or the weapon can fall into the hands of children or young persons, who in their immaturity, can injure or kill themselves or others,” Adams reasoned