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Midlands Police extends unlicenced firearms amnesty


GWERU- Police in the Midlands Province has announced an extension of the firearms amnesty period which ran from 13 to 25 October to end of the month.

The period offers persons with unlicenced firearms, ammunition and other related material to surrender them to the police without being charged for illegal possession, The MidWeek Watch has learnt.

The Amnesty period is being observed nationwide and the entire SADC region in line with SADC Security Protocols on Control of Firearms. It is observed that some firearms are acquired legally but due to changed circumstances, the ownership or possession becomes illegal in terms of the law.

Midlands Provincial Police Spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko said, there were certain circumstances to the changes.

“There are examples of situations where firearms situations have changed that include companies which closed but representatives keep on holding onto the firearms, members of a gun club who are no longer active, farmers, Hunters and individuals who are no longer in the same position they were when they applied for Firearms Certificates. Other scenarios are firearm license holders who are no longer renewing their firearm certificates, people with unregistered firearms that have fallen into their hands through illegal means such as smuggling, gun dealers or gun clubs with unclaimed firearms that were surrendered to them for safekeeping for a long time. It is a regional Amnesty month for all unauthorised firearm holders to surrender firearms and ammunition,” he said.

Inspector Mahoko urged the public to take heed of the call as a number of armed robberies are happening which might land some of them in trouble.

“Also, as armed robberies happen in communities’ residents fear falling victim to crimes where firearms are used. It is thus important to have all firearms accounted for. May the public be informed that those who qualify to possess firearms will be assisted to regularise the ownership to be official.”

Meanwhile, all police stations in the province are involved, hence members of the public wishing to surrender firearms falling in this category are free to approach any police station.

Persons surrendering the firearms will be issued what is called a safe custody receipt/issue voucher as proof that they have surrendered.

According to the Zimbabwean laws, having a firearm without a licence or certificate is an offence but in the Amnesty period, no person is liable for an offence as long as one is in the process of surrendering the firearms to the police.

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