Sun | Feb 25, 2018

Letter of the day | Gun owners left in limbo

Published:Tuesday | July 5, 2016 | 12:00 AM


This is an open letter to the commissioner of police, Carl Williams.

I am a licensed firearm holder who is disturbed about the systems for the safeguarding of our weapons. There is no real policy in place for us, and I'll give you a few examples from personal experiences that happened between December 2015 and July 2, 2016.

In December, I was leaving the island for two weeks. Generally, I would use my safe. However, in that same period, there was a case where a licensed firearm holder's house was robbed of multiple weapons while he was away.

I decided to utilise the police station at the airport. After checking in, I went to the station, where I was told that unless I have a gun bag like those used at the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA), I could not leave my weapon there. Critical information like this was never told to the public.

My second encounter was a couple of days ago, on July 2, at the National Stadium during the Olympic track and field trials. I went to leave my weapon at the police station at the stadium but was told that they were only keeping service weapons. Again, we, the public, were not forewarned.

Several of us licensed holders were outside the station contemplating our next best option. One man complained that he left from Montego Bay, stopped at another station and was ask why he didn't leave it in Montego Bay, closer to where he resides. Thus, the police there refused to accept the weapon.




Many firearm holders were now thinking of leaving their weapon in their vehicles. Of course, if a problem emerged, we would be charged with negligence.

Commissioner Williams, adequate facilities need to be provided for firearm holders at courthouses, the National Stadium, both major two international airports, among other places of interest.

Between the commissioner's office and the FLA, information should be shared with the public to educate us as to where we can safely leave our weapons and specific guidelines given, such as the need for a gun bag, etc. Such information should also be available on the websites of both the FLA and the police force, and a memo sent to the local police station so that everyone is working under the same rules.

I do hope we will get a workable solution.