An entry in The Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism
PRIME MINISTER Peter O’Neill’s announcement in Parliament last Friday of proposed legislation to ban guns in PNG except for security forces is a step in the right direction towards peace and order in this country.
Peter O’Neill told Parliament that the proposed law would include banning police officers from carrying high powered guns in public. He said it would restrict guns to senior officers.
The legislation to ban guns is one of the recommendations in a report instituted by former police minister and current Goroka MP Bire Kimisopa which was tabled in Parliament three years ago.
A ban on guns would be a momentous step towards the elimination of tribal warfare, armed-holdups and enhancing peace and order in PNG.
The presence of too many high-powered guns, licensed and unlicensed, poses a serious threat to human life, development efforts and foreign investment.
Thousands of people have died from the use of guns, particularly in tribal fights.
Guns have been the contributing force in the destruction of numerous businesses, churches and public infrastructure like schools, health centres and bridges setting back community and economic development.
Just about every high profile robbery in PNG has involved use of guns.
The influx and build-up of high-powered guns has become a threat and deterrence to foreign investment.
Banning guns is the right thing to do and we hope and trust that it will be fast tracked and all MPs will support the Bill when it is introduced. The sooner the better for PNG.