Sat | Mar 28, 2020

Hothead licensed firearm holders worry FLA

Published:Saturday | February 8, 2020 | 12:18 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester

Chief Executive Officer of the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) Shane Dalling has expressed concern about persons with licensed firearms who are unable to restrain themselves, noting that a significant number of the murders in the country, which resulted from domestic disputes, involved the legal owners of guns.

“Last year alone we had four murder-suicides by licensed firearm holders, and had it not been for some of our interventions, it would have been far more. Persons have reported to us threats of spouse using violence on them and we have had to call in those holders, take the weapons from them and cause an investigation into the circumstances to protect the complainant,” he said.

Dalling said that the FLA, while conducting their investigations, protects the identity of the complainant from the alleged perpetrator, particularly in situations where an individual posed a threat to his spouse.

“Placing a gun in the hand of someone with a temper is something we are really focusing on. We ask individuals that once you hear of or have any inclination of such persons, report it to us. We have placed it on our website that we are focusing on domestic violence because it cannot be taken lightly,” the FLA boss said.

The FLA head also warned that a licensed firearm holder should not deliberately expose his weapon in a confrontation to intimidate a person, noting that this action could constitute an assault with a deadly weapon. “I don’t think a lot of people know that,” he added.

GUN SALUTES

He said that gun salutes, allowing a minor to use one’s licensed firearm, and using the gun for criminal activities such as robberies were among the negative issues that the FLA would take strong action against.

“... This year we had the highest number of injuries from gun salutes. More than five persons were injured between December 31 and January 1... . We have had cases where licensed firearm holders have been involved in robberies, and what persons don’t know is that we have the ballistic signature for every single firearm.”

Dalling revealed that ex-convicts and criminals, particularly lottery scammers, were now trying to secure licences under the guise of business persons.

He said some of these persons align themselves to the business community to create the impression that they were legitimate business persons ... . “But when you see a 25-year-old with car washes, two homes fully paid for and no mortgage, and own cars, a deeper investigation is needed ... . So if you put up a sign saying you are selling cars along the main road that cannot fly with us anymore ... that used to happen a lot in Mandeville.”

Dalling indicated that persons who were unable to prove they legitimately acquired their wealth could have their gun licences revoked as this was facilitated through improved systems development such as fingerprinting before and after a licence is issued.

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