Police are launching a month-long
gun amnesty in a bid to remove firearms from the streets following a spate of
shooting murders this year.
The amnesty begins on Monday, 10
May, and ends on 10 June. Strong boxes will be placed in police stations in
George Town, West Bay, Bodden Town and Cayman Brac from 7am to 7pm each day for
members of the public to place firearms.
Police Commissioner David Baines
said the purpose of the amnesty was to prevent guns falling into the hands of
criminals and reduce the number of firearms in circulation.
Mr. Baines said people could hand
in weapons anonymously, with “no questions asked”.
He said he hoped this would prevent
a repeat of “the tragedies that have befallen many families in these islands
over the past months”.
To drive home this point, Dorlisa
Ebanks, the mother of four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes who was shot dead in a car
in West Bay on 15 February, appeared at a press conference with Mr. Barnes and
Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden on Monday to announce the launch of the
She said her life and the lives of
her other two children had been “destroyed” by Jeremiah’s death and she urged
the public to hand over weapons in the amnesty.
“I feel that maybe with this
programme, it could have been avoided, but you never know,” she said.
“I cannot find the words to explain
what I am going through. I don’t want anyone else to go through that and I pray
that no one has to,” the mother said.
“My life is basically a void now.
There’s no coming back for my baby. For my other two little ones, their lives
are destroyed also and we’re just trying to put things back together.
“It is because of the gun violence
in Cayman. That has to stop. Let’s make a start and see where we go from here,”
Police displayed about 25 guns and
rifles that had been seized in investigations or recovered by officers. They
showed off assault weapons, shotguns and handguns, including a tiny weapon about
two inches long.
Mr. Baines urged people who know
their family members have illegal guns to hand over the weapons to prevent the
tit-for-tat shootings the island has seen.