20 May 2008

Gun owners in Solomon Islands demand compensation for confiscation

3:07 pm on 20 May 2008

Solomon Islands' licensed gun holders are demanding government compensation for weapons they surrendered to the Regional Assistance Mission, RAMSI.

Hundreds of legitimate gun owners surrendered their weapons as part of RAMSI's disarmament process which saw around four thousand weapons collected and destroyed.

One former gun owner, Martin Obasia, has told the Solomon Star the government must now compensate them.

He says they had bought their licences to hold guns and did not use their weapons to commit crime but surrendered them because they faced prison if they did not comply with the RAMSI demand.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua says the government had to first identify who were the rightful licence holders.

He says Cabinet will shortly deliberate on a paper on the issue.