Thursday, February 24, 2011

Zurenuoc: Guns fight has started

THE national government has already started implementing the guns committee report, acting Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc said yesterday, The National reports.

Zurenuoc said contrary to a claim by Transparency International (PNG) in the media this week, the report recommendations were being implemented with the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council the lead coordinating agency.

“The Police Department has already started implementing some of the recommendations concerning the issuing of firearm licences, the transfer of licences and updating of firearms databases,” he said.

“It would be amiss of the watchdog to allege that nothing is being done when a team comprising representatives from a cross-section of society, which includes representatives from civil society groups, has already been set up to further elaborate on the implementation of the recommendations.

“We have already started the ball rolling.

“The team is currently reviewing the recommendations of the guns committee report and has been collaborating with civil society groups on an implementation strategy.”

Zurenuoc said the biggest problem facing the government was not so much the use of licenced weapons but the containment of illegal firearms that are currently in use.

“The Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council is preparing a critical analysis of crime statistics for 2009 and 2010 to determine baseline data of crimes committed using firearms.

“This will help in the implementation of the recommendations,” he said.

This week, TIPNG claimed that the government had failed to act on the recommendations, leaving the people open to gun violence.

It said because of this failure prominent people had been seen to be involved in disputes in which weapons had been discharged.

“The problem reaches all sections of the community with far too frequent examples of privileged and intelligent people carrying and using weapons in public places,” TIPNG said.

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