The St. Lucia government says it has no plans to reinstate a firearm amnesty noting that it is moving closer towards the goal of a 45 per cent reduction in serious crime by 2022.
National Security and Home Affairs Minister Hermangild Francis said he was surprised at a newspaper article that appeared to indicate that the Allen Chastanet administration would implement the ''guns for cash amnesty' that had been in force here during the period 1997 to 2006.'
'I took umbrage to this article and the commentary by Mr. Earl Bousquet because I have been at pains to indicate that I do not believe in the 'Cash for Guns Amnesty' and for Mr. Bousquet to say that the government is trying to bring that programme back is not correct and he should apologize for that statement he has made about me.
'I have never endorsed it and I will ever endorse the Guns for Cash Amnesty,' said Francis, a former acting Police Commissioner.
He said the article which appeared in the August 8 edition of the Voice Newspaper and headlined 's the guns for cash amnesty back on track'? 'gave the impression that the programme was being revisited for implementation.
In the newspaper article, Bousquet wrote that Francis 'earlier this week disclosed that the current UWP (United Workers Party) administration is or has quietly revived or is reviving the gun amnesty.
'The TV clip I saw of Francis making the disclosure did not disclose exactly whether the amnesty will involve payments and guarantees of no prosecution'.
But Francis reiterated that he is no supporter of such an...