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Aug 31, 2000

Tech 9 tops “Cash For Guns” haul

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The Cash For Guns programme continues to run at full bore as more firearms and ammunition are handed in. Today the centre received its usual complement of heavy iron, but the biggest catch of the day had to be a Tech Nine machine gun, which was brought in this morning along with a loaded ammo clip. According to Nuri Muhammed, the programme’s coordinator, the weapon is the most serious gun that has been collected since the programme started.

Nuri Muhammed, Coordinator, Cash For Guns Programme

“The highlight of today was the fact that we were able to purchase a Tech Nine off the street. That’s an extremely lethal weapon and what we need to understand is that those types of weapons in the hands of the criminal element is more dangerous not only because it can hurt the intended victim, but because there are a lot of other people around that can also be damaged. Belize has a lot of houses that are wooden structures and the power of those types of weapons can go right though the walls. It’s like the grenades likewise, these are weapons that don’t only hurt the intended victim, but can also harm people who are around.

We feel that the programme itself?the success of the programme is the fact that if we did not have this Cash For Guns and amnesty, these weapons would basically still be out on the streets. Some folks might say that there are still some more weapons out there, but we can’t worry about the weapons that haven’t come in. We have to be thankful that we have been able to bring in an amount of weapons, and we hope that before the programme is completed in another nine days, that would have more of these types of weapons that will also come in.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Nuri, I know that at the start of the programme you all mention that you had some people working the streets trying to encourage youths to bring these illegal weapons, how has that effort been coming along?”

Nuri Muhammed

“Extremely well. It’s as a result of one of the youths in the streets that we were able to get this tech nine.”

The person who handed in the Tech Nine received a payment of one thousand dollars. The business community is being urged to continue supporting the effort and a special appeal is being made to the various embassies. The receiving centre, which is located at the corner of Cemetery Road and Elston Kerr Street, is open from 8:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. The amnesty for illegal gun owners remains in effect from 6:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m.

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