PEOPLE will be able to hand over their illegally held or unregistered firearms to the police without any fear of being legally challenged as of next week, with the third gun amnesty in Slovakia to be kicked off on December 1, the TASR newswire reported.
The aim of the amnesty, set to be in place from December 2014 to May 31, 2015, is to lower the number of illegally held guns and ammunition in the country and to reduce the risk of people using such firearms in the commission of criminal acts. During these six months, people will be able to hand over their illegally held or unregistered firearms to any police department. President Andrej Kiska signed the legislation to this effect in late October, according to TASR.
Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák considers the previous amnesties as successful, pointing out that Slovaks have turned in to police around 8,000 illegal guns and he expects this number to grow up to 10,000 at least, public service Slovak Radio reported.
“[We want] to take several hundred guns off of the market,” Kaliňák said, as quoted by Slovak Radio, “which could get to unauthorized hands and be used for the committing of a criminal act.”
The guns will be subject to ballistic examination and people will be given a chance to make their ownership of these arms legal within a designated period. Otherwise, the gun will become the property of the state, according to TASR.
According to the statements made by Kaliňák in late July, the number of crimes committed using firearms has shrunk by 50 percent since the first gun amnesty was called in 2005. For example, while a total of 440 such crimes were committed in 2004, last year saw only 214.
The first gun amnesty was launched in 2005, lasted one year and netted 3,463 guns. The second one was completed in July 2010 and secured 4,367 firearms.
Source: TASR, Slovak Radio
Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
1. Dec 2014 at 14:00