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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, June 15) - The Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea says it supports the call by the Internal Security Minister to ban pistols and semi-automatic guns.

The general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference says gun possession is out of control, with more and more people believing owning one is a necessity, and a right.

General Secretary Lawrence Stevens says the Conference supports the call from the Internal Security Minister, Bire Kimisopa, to ban handguns.

And, he says the Church is launching a program of its own to stem the growing culture of gun ownership.

"The Church is calling on Catholics, particularly families, and putting a fair bit of emphasis on mothers, to try to get the weapons removed from the families, from the communities in which they live, to try and get people to realize the importance of saying no to weapons," said Stevens.

June 16, 2004

Radio New Zealand International:

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