By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 11 August 2016:
In a move driven possibly more by hope than expectation, the military police in Marj have unveiled a gun amnesty programme for residents to encourage them to hand over their weapons or register them.
Those in possession of firearms have 30 days in which to hand them in if they are heavy weapons, or register them for their personal protection, if they are classed as “light”.
The move follows a similar one in Tobruk, where residents have until 15 September to hand in or register their weapons.
Last month, Major General Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhuri, who had been appointed military governor of northern Cyrenaica, ordered all heavy and medium weapons to be handed in to the police or the security forces while lighter weapons had to be registered. Those who do not comply risked arrest, he said.
Light weapons apparently extend to semi-automatic rifles such as a Kalashnikov.
It is estimated by Australia-based GunPolicy.org that there are over 900,000 guns in private hands in Libya, both legal and illegal, making for 15.5 guns per 100 people, and a further half million guns held by the armed forces and police. However, those figures appear to be based on pre-revolution statistics.
Today it has been estimated that there are over two million weapons in circulation.