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VIPD Offers Firearms Renewal Amnesty Program

Jan. 13, 2008 — Firearms owners who haven't renewed their permits are getting offered a handout from the long arm of the law.
The V.I. Police Department's Firearms Bureau is holding a three-month amnesty period for residents who have not renewed their weapons registration.
During the firearms renewal amnesty period, anyone possessing a firearm who has failed to renew it can come into the bureau and renew without fear of repercussion, said Karen Stout, who supervises the Firearms Bureau for the VIPD's St. Croix District.
Weapons registrations are issued for three years, so any registration dated before 2006 needs to be renewed.
The usual late fee of $15 for the first three months and the $30 per firearm per year fee will be waived in some instances, according to a news release from the bureau.
"We are trying to give everybody a chance to come in and renew their registration and make it legal again," Stout said.
Stout and her counterpart, Elfreda Robinson on St. Thomas, are anticipating such a significant response to their invitation that the bureau will not accept first-time registrations during the amnesty period.
There could be more than 100 weapons with out-of-date registrations between the two districts, Stout estimated. Not taking advantage of the amnesty program could have dire consequences for gun owners.
Those who have out-of-date registrations are in violation of the V.I. Code and will stand the chance of losing firearms license privileges. These owners could also be subject to fines of $100 or more, and could be prosecuted administratively. However, if the weapon is involved in criminal activity, or if the weapon is fired, the owner could be subject to criminal prosecution, Stout said.
Gun owners should bring the unloaded weapon with them when they come in for renewal, Stout said.
"They have to bring it in," Stout said. "We have to inspect it and make sure it is the firearm that matches with the application."
Owners should also bring three pictures of the weapon, and business owners need to bring their valid business license, along with one week's worth of deposit slips, Stout said.
Firing ranges on St. Croix will not allow firearms without a current registration, according to Stout.
"They might even call me to come and pick up your gun," she said.
The bureau is also in the process of updating all firearms records, and asks families of deceased gun owners and people who previously stored their firearms with the bureau are asked to contact the bureau.
Stout reemphasized that the weapon being brought in for renewal must be unloaded, and recommends that the owners call ahead of time and advise the bureaus in their respective districts that they are coming in with a weapon. Residents on St. Croix can call Stout at 778-2211, while residents of the St. Thomas-St. John-Water Island should call Robinson at 774-2211 before making the trip.
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Jan. 13, 2008 -- Firearms owners who haven't renewed their permits are getting offered a handout from the long arm of the law.
The V.I. Police Department's Firearms Bureau is holding a three-month amnesty period for residents who have not renewed their weapons registration.
During the firearms renewal amnesty period, anyone possessing a firearm who has failed to renew it can come into the bureau and renew without fear of repercussion, said Karen Stout, who supervises the Firearms Bureau for the VIPD's St. Croix District.
Weapons registrations are issued for three years, so any registration dated before 2006 needs to be renewed.
The usual late fee of $15 for the first three months and the $30 per firearm per year fee will be waived in some instances, according to a news release from the bureau.
"We are trying to give everybody a chance to come in and renew their registration and make it legal again," Stout said.
Stout and her counterpart, Elfreda Robinson on St. Thomas, are anticipating such a significant response to their invitation that the bureau will not accept first-time registrations during the amnesty period.
There could be more than 100 weapons with out-of-date registrations between the two districts, Stout estimated. Not taking advantage of the amnesty program could have dire consequences for gun owners.
Those who have out-of-date registrations are in violation of the V.I. Code and will stand the chance of losing firearms license privileges. These owners could also be subject to fines of $100 or more, and could be prosecuted administratively. However, if the weapon is involved in criminal activity, or if the weapon is fired, the owner could be subject to criminal prosecution, Stout said.
Gun owners should bring the unloaded weapon with them when they come in for renewal, Stout said.
"They have to bring it in," Stout said. "We have to inspect it and make sure it is the firearm that matches with the application."
Owners should also bring three pictures of the weapon, and business owners need to bring their valid business license, along with one week's worth of deposit slips, Stout said.
Firing ranges on St. Croix will not allow firearms without a current registration, according to Stout.
"They might even call me to come and pick up your gun," she said.
The bureau is also in the process of updating all firearms records, and asks families of deceased gun owners and people who previously stored their firearms with the bureau are asked to contact the bureau.
Stout reemphasized that the weapon being brought in for renewal must be unloaded, and recommends that the owners call ahead of time and advise the bureaus in their respective districts that they are coming in with a weapon. Residents on St. Croix can call Stout at 778-2211, while residents of the St. Thomas-St. John-Water Island should call Robinson at 774-2211 before making the trip.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.