21 Feb 2012

Tonga suspends issuing new gun licences

12:49 pm on 21 February 2012

The police in Tonga have suspended issuing new gun licences following a spate of armed-hold ups over the past six months.

In the most recent incidents, four armed men held up a petrol station last month, while police are still seeking two men who robbed a Chinese-owned grocery store two weeks ago.

The acting Police Commissioner Siope Soakai Motu'apuaka says as part of their response, the Police Minister stopped issuing new gun licences until a review of gun laws is complete.

"The weapon issue is already addressed. Unfortunately, this also happened to people who are entitled to have guns here in Tonga. Everything has been stopped until there is a proper reconciliation with guns here in Tonga."

Siope Soakai Motu'apuaka says people who wish to renew their gun licences can do so if they have a good record.