Stop, Drop & Go brings in 17 illegal firearms

POSTED: 10/22/14 10:05 PM

St. Maarten – Seventeen illegal firearms have been surrendered to the Attorney General’s office since the kickoff of the Stop, Drop & Go project on October 15th. The project is a joint effort of Dutch and French side law enforcement authorities to rid the streets of St. Maarten/St. Martin of as many illegal firearms as possible.

“There were 10 guns delivered to the office of the Attorney General today [Tuesday],” said Public Prosecutor Tineke Kamps to this newspaper. However, later in a press release, Kamps said that by 4:00 p.m. a total of 11 had been surrendered, making it a total of 17 weapons surrendered since the project began on October 15. Among the various types of weapons handed in were revolvers and pistols of various calibers.

“We are busy now for one week and are positive about the action,” said Kamps. The Public Prosecution Service and the police are very satisfied with the cooperation of the people of St. Maarten. She advised persons submitting a firearm to put the weapon in a brown paper bag or a plastic transport bag, rather than walking in off the street with it uncovered.  Bullets should also be removed from the barrel.

Last year, Dutch side authorities yielded 30 illegal firearms throughout the course of the year, while the St. Martin gendarmerie collected 46. The Stop, Drop & Go project ends October 31, giving those in possession of illegal firearms adequate time to surrender their weapons without fear of prosecution. The campaign is the result of an increase in robberies and other crimes involving the use of guns, which have terrorized the island in recent years. Kamps added that she is awaiting an update from the gendarmerie on how many guns have been surrendered to the French side authorities.

Anyone who wishes to surrender a firearm can do this every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Attorney General’s office, Welfare Road #68 in Simpson Bay.



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