Discussions to Ban Firearms


by Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby

There will be discussions on legislations to ban firearms in Papua New Guinea.

This was announced by PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, in parliament last Friday.

Mr. O’ Neill made the announcement following law and order concerns raised by Enga Governor, Peter Ipatas.

O’Neill said the government will be looking at banning firearms in the country.

“During the Pacific Games, our disciplinary officers have carried out their operations without the use of guns,” O’Neill said. 

He said the discussions he will have with the Chief Secretary and the Police Department, and his government will bring the bill to the parliament.

The issue initially raised by governor Ipatas in parliament on Friday draws the attention to the increase in criminal activities in the county.

Ipatas questioned the government on the status of the Firearms Report and asked when the report will be tabled in parliament.

“Can the Prime Minister tell us when the firearms report will be tabled in parliament?” Ipatas asked.

He said a number of law and order issues have occurred because of the use of guns and wants guns to be outlawed in Papua New Guinea.

“We do not need firearms in PNG,” Ipatas said.

The issue on firearm possession has been ongoing between the government, the Police Department and PNG citizens.

Early this year, a number of deaths have occurred from the use of guns in Morobe, East Sepik and the Nation’s Capital.

This has led to the police department coming under public criticism and the creation of the Firearms Report.    

While talks between the three parties are yet to begin, the three disciplinary forces have already proved that firearms are not needed to carry out major security operations in PNG. This was seen during the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby. 

Talks between the three parties are expected to begin in the coming weeks.

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