Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Letter of the Day | FLA dragging its feet, punishing clients

Published:Tuesday | April 17, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Can you imagine that after approximately 10 months, the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) is still operating on go-slow? Approved applicants who should have picked up their new licences in June and July 2017 are still waiting?

The livelihoods of stakeholders' (firearm dealers, range operators, and trainers) have pretty much been destroyed as the FLA seeks to rid itself of corruption.

This once-vibrant industry that has generated much revenue in taxes, import duties, general consumption tax, etc, for Jamaica has virtually ground to a halt. This industry plays an important role in catering to the needs of security companies and licensed firearm holders.

Apart from some FLA staff being terminated or asked to resign, what is there to show for the sacrifice the stakeholders have had to endure, with virtually no business done over the period? No decertifications! No sanctions! Nothing!

The FLA has legitimately approved , issued and renewed firearm licences to law-abiding citizens in the thousands, after which they restrict gun owners' ability to train for defence or competition.

Anyone who knows anything about guns and shooting knows that if one cannot train, the skill level of that shooter is diminished or reduced. Therefore, such action makes licensed firearm holders less capable and less effective in their ability to defend their families, businesses, themselves, and less competitive.

The approach being used to 'fix' the FLA's corruption issues is tantamount to shutting down a bank after the manager is caught stealing, or amputating an arm with a small laceration on one's finger.

I am really disappointed and quite frankly disgusted, that in 21st-century Jamaica, the powers that be were not innovative enough to come up with a fix.

The firearm industry is terribly overregulated. Hence, firearm dealers, range operators and trainers are treated with contempt. This is so because it is a well-known fact that firearm ownership in Jamaica is still a privilege and not a right.

KENT BROWN

Life Member, Jamaica Rifle Association Licensed Dealer,

Rangemaster, Gunsmith, Trainer, Competitor