Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Gun control must be improved

Published:Thursday | November 3, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I agree that stricter laws and procedures are required regarding the use, possession and ownership of firearms. This requires urgent attention, considering firearms are used in most murders in Jamaica, mostly illegal weapons. It is unbelievable that the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA), now report that the file for Patrick Powell, the accused in the murder death of KC student in the back of a taxi, has gone missing.

Do the authorities rely only on paper files, why isn't the information digitalised and backed up electronically? A license should also include multiple photos of the weapon, tagged to the bearer, with their fingerprints etc. Firearms are extremely dangerous weapons, and if we are issuing licenses we should ensure that proper procedures and laws are in place to protect citizens. There should also be stricter laws for firearm holders who tamper evidence, or refuse to hand over a licensed weapon for testing in a case before the courts. Otherwise, what's the point of allowing them to carry these weapons, if they are able to do as they please, and get away with it?




We also heard that the accused in the stabbing death of the Jamaica College student during a phone robbery attempt in a bus, was currently out on bail for possession of an illegal firearm. In my view, bail should not be so easy in cases involving possession of illegal weapons, unless in cases where evidence is purely circumstantial or weak. If you are found with an illegal firearm, there should be serious consequences, and bail should not be an option. If you carry an illegal weapon, obviously your intent is to carry out illegal activities and you pose a serious threat to society. You should therefore face the consequences which should also include a quick trial. The criminals and gangsters are beating us with their game, finding holes, and loopholes to carry out their wicked deeds and get away with it. We cannot curb crime, unless we get more serious and tighten the system. And this should be done immediately.