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Tough penalties for illegal firearms: PNG PM

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has called on the people to take this special amnesty to surrender illegal firearms as tough new laws will be introduced after March 28 deadline.

“After March 28, we will be introducing a legislation on summary offences which is got a tough penalties, if you are caught in possession of an illegal firearm, the recommendations to Parliament for this law is that you will have 10 years imprisonment with hard labour and or a fine of K10,000 (US$3,157),” O’Neill said.

He said Government would be introducing legislation on summary offences with tough penalties for those in possession of illegal firearm.

“The penalties are quite harsh but it is deliberate, we want to get rid of firearms and make our communities safer and I think this is a good start and people of Hela have led the way and I commend them and their leaders who have done an excellent job and we look at expanding them throughout the country.”

“It is success that’s worth building on, I think it’s good for the future of our children who must not grow up in a gun culture and this is a good start.” PM O’Neill said

He said this when commending the people of Hela for the surrender of illegal firearms that were destroyed in Tari Tuesday.

At the end of phase one of the security force callout in Hela , Police Commissioner  Gari Baki, received 104 factory made guns and 950-plus homemade guns and he started the destruction of those guns publicly.

More than 5000 local Tarians and Hela showed up in support for the destruction to what was collected during the callout.

Baki issued stern words that the security force will not slacken off in the second phase but has put in place operation order to flush out those who has kept their guns.

The event was witnessed also by outside observer reps like United Nations, development partners, court house and many other stake holders including churches.

All three leaders of Hela in Minister James Marape, Francis Potabe and Philip Undialu were there.

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