Similar weapons used by terrorists overseas picked up in local gun amnesty

Police Commissioner Egon Keil holding 2 high powered  AK-47 guns which are similar to the weapons used by terrorists in the recent attack in Paris

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: WEDNESDAY 23 DECEMBER 2015: Samoa may have yet to experience a terrorist attack, but the weapons used in such attacks overseas are already in Samoa, and how they got into the country is a mystery.

This was confirmed by Police Commissioner Egon Keil.

From the 148 guns collected during the gun amnesty project, 105 are 22 gauge rifles and shotguns, 32 are illegal semi-automatic hand guns, and 11 are high powered assault weapons.

“Assault rifles used in Paris on that terrible terrorists attack recently, we have those here in Samoa. Eleven (11) of those,” said Commissioner Keil.

These high powered weapons were confiscated during police drug raids.

The Police Commissioner said that the gun amnesty was initiated by the Government to give people the opportunity to turn in any illegal weapons or register their weapons without any questions asked.

He said if someone had an illegal weapon in their possession for some time, now is the time to turn them in and no criminal charges will be filed against them.

“But if after the amnesty, any illegal weapons or unregistered weapons found in their possession, they will be arrested and charged,” said Commissioner Keil.

The amnesty started in November and 9 more days left to bring any weapons in before the law is enforced again.

Despite the response and the number of weapons turned in, Commissioner Keil believes there are more out there.

All weapons collected become the property of the Government and Police will demolish and destroy them after the amnesty.