With the conclusion of the week- long firearms amnesty, the Police together with other intelligence agencies have commenced raiding illegal firearms, the Ministry of Defence said.
Issuing a press release the Ministry said during the grace period, 200 firearms without valid permits or with no renewed permits were handed over to Police stations in nine provinces.
The Defence Ministry had declared the firearms amnesty from February 5 to 12 following the directives of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to collect all illegal firearms in the country.
Following the request made by the Defence Ministry to those who are possessing firearms, 137 twelve bore shotguns, fifteen -16 bore shotguns, 2- double barrel shotguns, 5 – repeater shotguns, 6- rifles, 7- revolvers, 8- pistols and 20 other weapons were handed over to the nearest police stations.
“No legal action have been taken against those who have handed over their weapons without valid permits or without renewals but we will take stern action against those who are still hiding weapons illegally,” Police Spokesman SP Jaliya Senaratne said.
The Defence Ministry had announced the firearms amnesty to ensure public safety and curb threats posed by such unauthorized weapons.
Those who have handed over the weapons during the amnesty will be given three-months from the day they handed over the weapons to the police to get permits or renewals, the Ministry said.
However, the Defence Ministry requests the public to provide information about those who still keep illegal firearms in their possession following the conclusion of the amnesty.
Under the provisions of the No.33 of Firearms Ordinance 1916, possessing weapons without licence is a punishable offence and liable to fines or imprisonment or both.
The Ministry of Defence press release further pointed out that those who have not handed over their weapons with no valid permits, if it is the first offence, they will be fined not exceeding Rs. 10,000 or with rigorous imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or with both such fine and imprisonment. (Colombo Gazette)