The Ecuadorean government on Monday began a police operation to seize illegally-owned weapons to boost citizens' safety, Ecuador's Interior Minister Gustavo Larrea said.
Authorities will patrol highways, streets, squares and areas where crime is high, Larrea told a domestic televion on Monday.
"Illegally bearing arms is a crime carrying a sentence of up to five years in jail," he said, adding that those with illegal guns should hand the weapons over to the nearest police station.
He also said that illegal munitions factories would be searched, closed and their owners be jailed.
Larrea called on civil society groups to support the fight against crime and help build a peaceful, democratic and secure society.
Larrea's statement came after Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa launched the Ecuador Without Weapons program, following six deaths this year of minors in gun fights in coastal Ecuadorean city, Guayaquil.
Speaking on his Saturday radio show, Correa said "Ecuador is going to be a nation without guns, where our children can walk the streets in peace".