Ten-year jail term eyed for illegal guns

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EOPLE using or possessing guns illegally can face up to 10 years in jail, or a fine of up to K10,000 – according to a proposed legislation to be tabled in Parliament.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the National Executive Council had endorsed amendments to the Firearms Act to increase penalties for offenders.
It is also in line with Government’s commitment to modernise the constabulary.
O’Neill said yesterday there was no excuse for the illegal use of guns.
“So criminals caught with weapons will be sentenced to long periods in jail and pay a significant amount of money in fines,” he said.
“I am sick and tired of reports of people illegally using weapons (but) are not sent to jail. This is not good for our families and our communities.”
O’Neill said the law would get tough on offenders.
“The illegal firing of a gun, dealing in illegal weapons, or making homemade guns will attract a range of penalties of between one and 10 years in jail, and fines of up to K10,000,” he said.
He said PNG, like other countries around the world, faced problems about the illegal use of guns.
“We must take action to stop the criminals,” O”Neill, pictured, said.
“So from the day this Act is passed into law by Parliament, anyone holding an illegal gun, or anyone who knows about an illegal weapon, better be ready for serious jail time when they are caught. The same goes for any misuse of weapons that will bring hefty fines and jail time.”
The prime minister said the review of Firearms Act was also in line with the Government’s programme to modernise the police force.
“A review of the entire police force is underway,” O’Neill said.
“(It) goes to core elements of policing, including command and control, training and organisational structures. We have committed and capable officers in the police.
“We must empower these personnel and move aside those who do not make a contribution.”