Red herring! ... Bunting rebuffs Montague's claim in FLA controversy
Opposition spokesman on National Security, Peter Bunting, is describing as "a red herring" accusations that the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) Board he appointed, approved a gun license in 2015 for a person convicted of fraud.
Speaking on Independent Talk on Power 106FM this morning, Bunting said the National Security Minister Robert Montague, in a release last week, gave selective information about the circumstances under which the particular application was reviewed and approved.
He says the fact that a person broke the law is not a basis on which to deny him a gun license forever.
Bunting explains that a person who is convicted of a crime can be granted a gun license, but it depends on the nature of the offence.
For example, the former national security minister says a person convicted of armed robbery, murder or a drug offence may be permanently disqualified from holding a gun license.
But he says people convicted of minor crimes which may have since been expunged could get the privilege to hold a firearm permit.
Reports emerged last week that the FLA Board had approved a gun license for applicants who, based on police investigations, have been linked to illegal activities.
According to Bunting, the controversy surrounding the operations of the FLA shows that the integrity of the process of approving and issuing gun licenses has not improved since the responsibility was removed from the police.
The Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, MOCA, has been called in to investigate.
Deputy FLA chairman Dennis Meadows has since recused himself from the board to facilitate an investigation into his conduct as part of the board.