The National, Monday February 17th, 2014
CABINET will propose a new legislation to ban guns in the country except for use by officers involved with security.
It is one of the recommendations in a report instituted by former police minister and current Goroka MP Bire Kimisopa which was tabled in Parliament in 2011.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament last Friday that it was recommended that there should be control over the issuing of gun licenses in the country.
“My aim is that nobody should own guns in this country,” he said.
“We are not at war with anybody.
“Why should we be allowing individuals to carry firearms around the country?
“We need to have confidence in ourselves that we are able to maintain peace and good order in our communities.”
O’Neill said the legislation would ban police officers from carrying high-powered guns in public as it was unnecessary.
He said it would restrict guns to senior police officers only.
“I know there are some members of the community who would like to continue to own guns.
“But the well-being of our people is more important than trying to satisfy ourselves.”
O’Neill was responding to a question from Komo-Magarima MP Francis Potape.
Potape asked the Government to stop private companies from buying guns and uniforms for police officers as it was inappropriate and compromised the independence of the police force.
He said the government had taken on board the recommendations of that report and was now starting to implement them.
The recommendations include improving training, re-opening Bomana Training College and re-opening the officers’ training facility at Igam Barracks in Lae where the services could conduct senior officers’ training.