12 Jun 2004

PNG MP proposes death penalty for illegal firearm owners

9:43 am on 12 June 2004

A Papua New Guinea MP is proposing the death penalty for those found with firearms that breach the law.

The National newspaper reports the MP for Rabaul, Doctor Allan Marat, as saying that the penalty for illegal possession of firearms, should be no less than life imprisonment, or even death.

Dr Marat, who agrees with moves by Internal Security Minister Bire Kimisopa for a total ban on guns, says lawmakers should be bold, in amending the Firearms Act.

He says the line the Minister's taking is correct - that there should be a total ban on guns, with the exception of the security forces.

Dr Marat says "those that live by the gun die by the gun".

He questions the mental stability of those who say a gun ban isn't needed.

Currently, the death penalty only applies to wilful murder and sedition.

Doctor Marat says lawmakers take the offence of rape lightly in comparison to firearms offences, in terms of penalties.

He says the "skyrocketing" of rape cases has been the result.