Unlicensed guns are widely available for criminals and several persons were shot dead recently durin What the people say about-Getting the guns off the streets.
By Christopher Yaw
Stabroek News
July 19, 2004

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David E. Sukhnandan - Businessman: 'The first thing that has to be done is the borders have to be secured, because it must be remembered that that is how the guns are coming through. Next the powers that be would have to ensure the police are more active; right now they are not active enough. They must get more police since without the police you cannot get the guns.

'Another way is to provide jobs for the people because if people are not getting work they would want illegal guns to commit crimes.

'The government would not go for a buy-back scheme. Amnesty is not a bad idea if it allows people to be reviewed and then given their guns back through legal channels. I do not think revoking licences would make any sense.'

Sheron Abrams - Housewife: 'There should be a special day when people can come in and hand over their illegal guns while the laws in existence should provide for stiffer penalties for those individuals who are found with guns not licensed.

'The government cannot revoke all of the gun licences because some got theirs illegally and some got their licences legally. Instead of revoking all licences a way should be found to revoke illegal licences and leave the people who got their guns through legal means, alone.

'With regard to a buy-back scheme I believe it would work because people need the money.'

Eleazer Loncke - Retiree: 'How are they going to get them [the illegal guns]? Would they round up every one with a gun?

'The people should be given a time when they could go to the authorities and turn in their guns that are not licensed. During this period nothing should happen to them when they turn in the weapons.

'After the time for turning in of all weapons anyone who is found in possession of an unlicensed gun should be given triple whatever the penalty is right now.'

Zahir Baksh - Artist: 'Firstly, stores that sell guns legally should be more careful whom they are selling guns to. If not, what could happen is that such sales result in people going on to the streets and using these weapons to conduct illegal activities.

'I am in agreement with the idea of allowing individuals to turn their illegal weapons over to the authorities. I believe that can work to get the guns off the streets.

'It is also a good idea to revoke the licences of everyone who has them at present, but then again some people would legitimately need to nave their guns to provide for their personal protection.

'It would be nice if the government offers to remove all the illegal guns from the streets by buying them back from the present holders.'

Anthony Gilbert - Craftsman: 'I think that the government needs to create some kind of institution where the younger generation could become involved in activities, through which they could get employment and create employment for themselves.

'The people who are supposed to be responsible for the issuing of gun licences have to stop encouraging the amount of weapons available on the one hand. If they stop doing what they are doing then they would be able to make certain requests to those people dealing with illegal firearms to stop.

'These people know certain things are going on and if they offer to accept illegal weapons without doing anything to expose the persons who are turning in their weapons then I am in total agreement with that.

'Serious businessmen should have gun licences because they are necessary for their protection, but the people who claim to be businessmen should not be allowed to be in possession of licences.'

Evon Moses - Retiree: 'We are people of God and do not have much to do with guns and gun crimes because we believe that God is going to protect us in times of need.

'To get the guns off the streets the police should try to see where they are coming from first and then they could try to stop guns getting into the hands of the criminals.

'If you can ask people to turn in their guns and get them to agree then this would be a good way to get them off the streets. They need to get rid of them because they are destroying our youths.

'Taking away the gun licences would affect the business people who would need their guns to use so they can deal with the situation that is destroying the country right now.'

Dara Primo - Hairdresser: 'One of the things that they [the authorities] can do is encourage people to be on the lookout for such weapons and when they see them inform the law enforcement authorities about the persons they have seen with those weapons.

'I believe people would surrender their illegal guns if they were given an opportunity to do so without getting into any difficulties afterward because every minute somebody is getting hurt through the robberies and kidnappings.

Doing away with all the present licences and buying back the guns is a good measure because the government should have control over all the guns.'

Joyann Wilson - Hairdresser: 'The first thing the authorities should do is to find out how people are getting access to these illegal guns. When they find out where the guns are coming from they would be in a better position to stop them getting onto the streets.

'Another measure that should be put in place by the authorities is the improvement of security on the country's borders to stop guns that are coming in using these routes over the border.

'Maybe trying to get the guns off the streets by allowing people to turn in illegal guns without any penalties attached could work. And if people are found with illegal guns after they could have brought them in, then the penalty for illegal firearms should be increased.

'I do not think that revoking the licences of people with firearms would be the right solution because businessmen would need their guns for protection. I believe that the government should buy back the illegal guns.'

Carol Gilkes - Housewife: 'If the illegal guns were not coming from inside the official circles then they would not be available so much on the outside.

'The idea of allowing individuals to turn their unlicensed guns into the proper authorities is a reasonable one for getting the guns off the streets. 'It would also be very good if the government took away the licences of persons with firearms.

'The government buying back guns that have already made their way to the streets is not a good idea because people would want to sell faulty weapons to the authorities just to make a quick dollar and the guns with the real firepower would be left on the streets.'