Police hunt for unauthorised weapons continues

Police had found 14 T56 rifles, 11 pistols, 10 revolvers, 16 locally manufactured ‘Galkatas’ improvised guns, 284 other types of weapons and 7,375 live ammunitions in the first five months this year.

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said the police had recovered 34 T56 rifles, 23 pistols, 22 revolvers, 17 galkatas, 702 other types of weapons and 2,882 ammunition last year.

Illegal firearms are used for many homicides and robberies each year.

The types of firearms that are used in criminal activities today are increasing.

The police believe that these are circulated in society, especially the underworld, as a result of the long war that had gripped the country for 30 years.

“This is generally expected when a country has gone through so many years of war and these weapons can surface from time to time and some of these weapons have got into the hands of the underworld gangs,” the Police Spokesman said.

Today’s criminals largely use automatic pistols, revolvers or T-56 and despite what the police have found, it is believed thousands more are circulating in the country and many of them are possibly in the possession of criminals.

The government periodically has offered firearms amnesty, but only a few respond and a fraction of the firearms circulating ends up being handed over.

In addition to the firearms that had been in the hands of the LTTE, there is evidence to suggest that a considerable number of firearms that were issued to politicians have also ended up in the hands of criminals.

It is also said that there is a large number of military deserters and many illegally kept weapons obtained from these deserters.

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