4 Jun 2004

PNG Internal Security Minister to push gun ban

2:33 pm on 4 June 2004

Papua New Guinea's Internal Security Minister Bire Kimisopa has called for a total ban on guns, saying he has the backing of the Prime Minister and the National Security Council on the proposal.

The plan is to go before a proposed national gun summit planned for Lae or Goroka in July or August.

Failing a countrywide gun ban, Mr Kimisopa would consider increasing the cost of renewing firearms licences from US$50 to US$1,500 - part of an overall strategy to cut the issuing of firearm licences.

He says the Government would also consider mandatory jailing for firearm licence abusers and reviewing the Firearms Act with the ultimate view of banning firearms completely in the country.

The minister says most of PNG's law and order problems are gun-related, and the government wants to send a very strong message on the issue through the summit.

Mr Kimisopa says while they would take into account people in PNG who use firearms for hunting purposes, it is important to have a uniform policy on banning firearms.