Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has sought to assure the Vincentian public that he and his government takes very seriously the issue of citizen security, in wake of a spike in the use of illegal firearms to perpetuate criminal acts in this country.
Speaking in Parliament this morning, Dr. Gonsalves noted that so far for 2016, 15 homicides have been recorded here, of which 13 resulted from the use of firearms, whereas of the total 25 homicides recorded in the year 2015, 11 were said to have resulted from the use of firearms.
Prime Minister Gonsalves told legislators that his government has and continues to take steps to implement stricter legislation regarding possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, as well as the granting of legal licences to law abiding citizens.
He also said that there is currently ongoing a heightened program for taking illicit firearms off the streets, and disclosed that just yesterday police were able to seize two illegal 9mm firearms, one from in the community of New Montrose and the other from a young man from the Stubbs area.
The Prime Minister noted that firearms and ammunitions are not manufactured here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; rather many of those that are discovered here originate from the United States as well as South and Central America, and are largely tied to trafficking in drugs.