On Wednesday, Venezuelan police cut up and crushed nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square in an effort to re-launch an old gun control campaign.
Guns were crushed in a truck mounted press and more guns such as shotguns were sawed and drilled.
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol’s campaign deals with the seizure of weapons as well as a voluntary swapping program where a person can trade in their gun for electrical goods and products.
According to Reverol, nearly 18,000 weapons have been removed from circulation in Venezuela, which is one of the world’s most crime-ridden countries. Venezuela’s capital city, Caracas is one of the most violent cities in the world.
Gangs in Venezuela are becoming more heavily armed as they are either stealing guns or buying them from corrupt police officials and because of a currency collapse, police officials are more prone to becoming corrupt because their salaries are not increasing with the 185% inflation in 2015. Criminals are also targeting police and other security forces more often so that they can take their guns, especially after private gun ownership was made illegal in 2012.
Reverol told reporters that starting September 1, the government would begin disarming Venezuelans nationwide and that on September 21, another fire-arm destruction event would occur.
“We are going to bring disarmament and peace,” Reverol told reporters.
Laser technology was bought by Venezuela to keep track of ammunition and to keep a registry of bullets given to police, according to Reverol.