A total of 11 firearms have been turned in so far during the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s month-long amnesty program.
“As of Monday … three handguns, eight rifles and 442 rounds of ammunition have been handed over to police,” an RCIPS statement noted.
The program is due to end Saturday, June 30. It’s the first firearms amnesty the police service has held since 2011.
Through Saturday, the RCIPS is offering clemency for anyone who voluntarily turns in a firearm – regardless of whether it is legally or illegally held – to a local police station or at a number of participating churches, where pastors have volunteered to collect the weapons. Cayman Crime Stoppers will also process tips on weapons held and will work with local police to ensure any firearms people want to surrender get into the right hands.
The amnesty period lasts from 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. each day.
Any weapons that are turned in must be unloaded and wrapped in a plastic bag with duct tape around it. Any ammunition turned in during the period would also have to be wrapped separately in a similar fashion when it is turned in.
RCIPS Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton said the wrapping is done for safety, but also to ensure that if a police officer pulls over a vehicle inside of which an illegal firearm is found during the amnesty period, the people in the vehicle cannot simply claim they are in the process of handing in the weapon.
Unless the weapon is wrapped up and located in the vehicle’s trunk, the officer making the traffic stop would take the “necessary action,” Mr. Walton said.
Police will continue interdiction efforts with illegal firearms during the amnesty period, Mr. Walton said.