Walvis Bay – The Namibian police in the Erongo Region have appealed to residents still in possession of illegal firearms and ammunition to surrender such weapons as soon as possible during the extended amnesty period to avoid being charged.
The amnesty period which was initially scheduled from August 16 until November 18 last year saw only one firearm being surrendered in the Erongo Region.
However, 30 rifles, 10 pistols, 10 barrels, 10 bombshells, two air-guns and 4,000 rounds of ammunition were surrender shortly after the amnesty period was extended to February 18 this year.
Briefing the media yesterday at Walvis Bay, Deputy Commissioner Tobias Gerber said there are more weapons in the region and thus urged all residents in the region to surrender such weapons while they still have time to do so in order to avoid prosecution.
“We need more firearms. We know there are a lot more than what was already surrendered. By surrendering, we mean anything that has to do with firearms, even empty bullet shells,” he explained.
Gerber said that it is of outmost importance they get all illegal fire-arms as it will lead to a safer country, with regards to crime and domestic violence incidences in the country.
“An illegal firearm can put you in trouble if you don’t make use of the amnesty period and surrender it. Do it now, otherwise you will have to carry the consequences thereafter,” he warned.
Also speaking at the briefing, Warrant Officer Julia Nujoma said residents who wish to surrender firearms will only be required to give or answer basic questions for control purposes.
“The whole idea is to create a conducive atmosphere, so that those with illegal firearms can surrender such items without fear of being prosecuted. We want to encourage them to hand in such illegal firearms. We don’t want to scare them off,” she said.
According to Nujoma, most of the firearms that were surrendered were either inherited or received as a gift, while others claimed that they had picked up the firearms.
According to Gerber, all illegal firearms collected will be destroyed. “We will not make use of any of the firearms, as most of them are commercial firearms and government only buys standardised firearms.”