Christian Council mulling gun buyback program
Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) President Bishop Delton Fernander said yesterday that the council is considering a gun buyback program.
“We have considered the [gun] amnesty, but did not get approval for it last year,” he said.
“Right now we are considering, if corporate Bahamas would partner with the churches, we are thinking about one of the programs that is run by the federal government of the United States called cash for guns,” he said.
“So these are the programs we are considering if we could get approval or partnership to get the guns off the streets.”
Fernander’s comments came after four men were shot and killed over the weekend.
Police took 285 guns off the streets in 2018. So far for the year, police seized 37.
Of the 91 murders committed in 2018, 81 were the result of gun violence, according to police.
Fernander said the church is doing all that it can to assist in combatting violent crime in the country.
Speaking on the recent murders, Fernander said, “We are concerned about the spree, and we look forward to assisting the police in any way we can in helping to deter young men from taking each other’s lives.”
He added, “The church has partnered with the neighborhood. Every neighborhood community has been attached to a church.
“Quite quietly, we have been doing our part to collaborate with the police force so we can have a presence on the ground in the community policing aspect of it. Each church runs a youth program.”
He continued: “We are doing absolutely everything we could do in terms of opening doors and running youth programs for our nation.
“We cannot force people to be a part of those programs, so we have got to find programs and partnerships that work.
“Working together is the only solution.”
Ten people were murdered so far for the year in The Bahamas.