Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Plug holes to stop access to illegal guns, urges Kern Spencer

Published:Friday | January 26, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Kern Spencer

Former state minister Kern Spencer said the need was far more urgent than previously thought for the national security apparatus to plug the holes through which guns are pouring into the country, causing countless deaths, injury, and mayhem.

"We have long heard that we do not make guns in Jamaica, and that is true, but it then begs the question, where are all these guns coming from, and how are they making their way into Jamaica?" he asked.

Spencer, whose father, Daniel Spencer, was injured during what appeared to be a daring robbery attempt at his home in Balaclava, St Elizabeth, on Wednesday night, said that controlling the crime wave was proving a tough task for the police as they remain either daunted or demoralised.

"Balaclava is a quiet place compared to many other towns in Jamaica, but recently, the residents have been seeing a spate of break-ins, and the police, it would appear, are stretched as when calls were made to them about my father's situation, I got no answer," he told The Gleaner yesterday.




Spencer's 70-year-old father was saved by his belt buckle, literally, when the masked gunman's bullet struck it and disintegrated upon contact.

However, bullet fragments, it was later learnt, pierced his abdomen. He was taken to the Black River Hospital, where he was treated and released.

"The family is just happy it wasn't any worse. It was actually three gunmen wearing masks and perhaps if my father never had a licensed firearm, with which he challenged the gunmen, he would have been killed," Spencer said. "It was too close for comfort, but I am grateful to God."