Review the Firearm Act to provide stiffer penalties for illegal gun importation - Sinclair
Government Senator Charles Sinclair has suggested that the Firearms Act be reviewed to provide stiffer penalties for persons who illegally bring guns into the island.
The suggestion comes nearly three weeks after 26 guns, more than 600 assorted rounds of ammunition and 26 magazines where found at the wharf in Kingston over a 24-hour period.
In the first incident, the police say ten firearms, including an Uzi Submachine gun, and 640 rounds of ammunition were found in a barrel that also contained food items.
The barrel was ship from the state of Georgia in the United States and addressed to a man in Mona, St Andrew.
The police say the other 16 guns – all 9mm pistols – were found in a different container at the wharf the following day and they believe both incidents are connected.
Sinclair, who was speaking in the Senate yesterday during the debate on the extension of the state of emergency in St James, noted that persons prosecuted in the Parish Court for illegal importation of firearm face a fine of $100,000 and or two years in prison under the Firearms Act.
Sinclair, who is also an attorney, says although the same offence carries a life sentence if it is prosecuted in the High Court, there is a minimum term of 15 years in prison.
“Fifteen years when you bring into our space weapons of mass destruction I think we should look at increasing the possible minimum for the illegal importation of firearms into Jamaica beyond 15 years,” he said.
“We must send that signal that we are serious about the reduction of illegal firearms,” Sinclair added.