29 Sep 2004

Solomons Police Minister proposing compensation for guns confiscated from legal owners

3:45 pm on 29 September 2004

The Solomon Islands Police Minister, Michael Maina, says he is preparing a proposal to provide compensation for all owners of lawfully registered firearms who surrendered them during the gun amnesty.

Mr Maina says costings are now being done on the programme.

"I am proposing to ask the government and that is the cabinet to assist me to dispose properly of all the guns that have been retrieved from the rightful owners by the government. And the method I want to use is to buy back those guns that are privately owned and that have already been destroyed."

Mr Maina says the proposal would NOT provide compensation for illegal firearms that have been handed in.

He says he would like to work towards a gun- free society, with security provided by a small highly trained group who could deal with crocodiles and other situations that needed weapons.

However Mr Maina says that is a goal which would require consultation with the community first.