Stem the spread of guns

Gun amnesty in the Cayman Islands is over – for now.

For one month members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service accepted illegal firearms from anyone who wanted to give them up. The service was also willing to take any unwanted legal firearms.

It was all done in an effort to stem the spread of guns crimes that have been so prevalent on Grand Cayman.

By the time the amnesty was completed, police had collected 26 illegal weapons ranging from guns to a bow-and-arrow set to a taser pen. How the latter got on Grand Cayman and why is anyone’s guess, but we reckon the same thing can be said for all illegal weapons. But a taser pen?

The Observer on Sunday is happy for the Police Service that the amnesty worked. We just wish more people had taken advantage of the opportunity to get more illegal weapons away from Grand Cayman.

Another oddity collected during the gun amnesty was a handmade pistol fashioned out of wood and electrical tape. That weapon could be dangerous to anyone – the shooter or the victim.

One of the 9mm guns collected had its serial number scratched off – a sure sign that the gun wasn’t meant to be in the Cayman Islands legally. It’s also the kind of gun that has been used to kill some of our young men.

This amnesty was different than ones held in the past. If any of the collected guns can be linked with a crime in the Cayman Islands, it can be used in the prosecution of a suspect. In past amnesties in the Cayman Islands those with illegal weapons were able to turn in their guns without fear of prosecution in criminal cases.

In fact Police Commissioner David Baines figures that 50 per cent of the weapons collected during the one-month amnesty  have some illegal connectivity. We can hope that the legal system will be able to use these weapons to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who has been involved in gun crimes in the Cayman Islands.

The Observer on Sunday appreciates the efforts of Commissioner Baines and his staff in getting illegal weapons off the streets of the Cayman Islands and their attempts to rid our country of all crime.

But as we’ve said before, they can’t do it alone. The police need all our eyes and ears.

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