Implement guns report, says Ruing

National, Normal

THE Opposition has called for the immediate implementation of recommendations contained in the National Guns Committee (NGC) report to address and counteract the alarming prevalence of Papua New Guinea’s gun culture.
Dei MP Puri Ruing said he did not have the opportunity to see the recommendations of NGC report, but the Government should act promptly on the recommendations as a matter of urgent priority.
Mr Ruing, who is a former justice minister, said in a statement that since the NGC was commissioned several years ago and its report compiled, the Government’s inaction had resulted in the fast deteriorating state of affairs in illegal cross-border gun-trade involving high-powered firearms as well as local homemade guns.
“The situation has compounded and is getting out of hand resulting in the situation becoming more complex and difficult to manage as a direct result of executive Government negligence and inaction,” Mr Ruing said.
He noted that in the Highlands region and some parts of the country, there were large numbers of guns outnumbering the total number of legally issued firearms held by State agencies and licenced private holders.
“It’s most unfortunate and regrettable that the educated elite, businessmen and politicians have been linked to arming their tribes, clans and allies because ordinary villagers and other people cannot afford.
 “It is so frightening and going by current trends, we’re heading for our own destruction,” the former police prosecutor said.
The MP said he appreciated the decision taken by Internal Affairs Minister Sani Rambi for illegal guns buy-back, however, the decision could well backfire badly on a well-intended plan.
 “I suggest we legislate for mandatory life sentence and death penalty to deal effectively with current offenders as well as a deterrent to potential offenders,” Mr Ruing said.