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Montague welcomes US decision to resume gun export to Jamaica

Published:Thursday | January 19, 2017 | 9:37 AM

National Security Minister Robert Montague has welcomed the decision of the US State Department to resume the authorisation process for firearm export licenses for Jamaica.

Montague says he’s pleased that discussions with the Ministry, the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) and the US Embassy have resulted in this positive outcome.

The ban by the US was imposed last year November after it was revealed that the main file of then murder accused businessman Patrick Powell had gone missing from the FLA.

The revelation of the missing file came after Powell was freed of the murder of schoolboy Khajeel Mais.

Montague says Jamaica is committed to correcting and enhancing the processes at the FLA.

He says the national security ministry and the FLA share the concerns of the US and are moving to destroy old and abandoned weapons at the FLA and at police stations.

Meanwhile, Montague says he met with US Embassy officials yesterday and again expressed concern about the influx of illegal weapons into Jamaica from the US.

He says he pointed out that 81 per cent of crimes in Jamaica are committed with illegal guns and 53 per cent of those guns are from the US.

He says he repeated his call for the US to do more to significantly reduce the inflow of illegal weapons and ammunition into countries like Jamaica.

The national security minister says the US has agreed to deepen cooperation in tracing guns found in Jamaica, adding that Jamaican law enforcement personnel have access to the US e-trace firearm database.