6 Feb 2010

Tonga police aim to rid country of illegal guns

9:38 am on 6 February 2010

Tonga's Police Commissioner, Chris Kelley, says he wants to eliminate illegal guns from the country.

Mr Kellley says they have seized 34 illegal or unregistered firearms over the past nine months, from handguns to semi automatic rifles.

The Commissioner says many have been brought into the country in the past 18 months and he's concerned about the imports.

He suspects the guns are for use in criminal activities such as robbery or drug dealing and says there's no need for such weapons in Tonga.

"Well I don't think realistically we should eliminate firearms here in Tonga. What I think we should do is reduce or eliminate the availiability of illegal firearms, and ensure that those firearms that are here, are licensed. It is the same in a lot of countries as well - it is not peculiar to Tonga, but having said, that we are a small country and the need for the number of firearms is a bit puzzling."

Tonga's Police Commissioner, Chris Kelley