Sun | Sep 24, 2017

US resumes authorisation process for firearm export licenses to Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | January 18, 2017 | 1:08 PM

The State Department of the United States has announced the resumption of the authorisation process for firearm export licenses to Jamaica through the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA).

The US Embassy says the licences will be considered based on the merit of each case.

The US suspended exports last November after the FLA found itself at the centre of controversy related to the disappearance of the main file of businessman Patrick Powell, who was freed of the murder of schoolboy Khajeel Mais.

The revelation of the missing file came after Powell was freed.

He’s currently before the court on charges of failing to hand over his gun for inspection.

The embassy says it’s working with the Ministry of National Security and the FLA to identify opportunities to jointly improve the firearm licensing and registration process. 

It says steps that can be taken immediately include prioritising the destruction of confiscated weapons, resuming marking of imported firearms, and increasing coordination with the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Other suggestions include increasing frequency of ballistics data collection, ensuring up-to-date ballistics data is available to the Forensic Science Laboratory, and improving accuracy of record-keeping. 

The US embassy says it continues to collaborate with the FLA and they will jointly reassess the issues in six months.