Montague tells new FLA Board to 'clean ship'

Friday, October 20, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — National Security Minister Robert Montague has mandated the newly named Major Antony Anderson-led Firearm Licencing Authority (FLA) Board to “clean ship”.

He was speaking at a press conference at his ministry a short while ago where he announced the new five-member board, which will start its work next Tuesday.

Montague said the three-year Board is to audit all uncollected weapons at police stations and in storage, which now stand at 2,500. He said 500 of these are ready to be turned over to the Jamaica Defence Force to be destroyed.

Additionally, the fingerprinting of all applicants is to be taken at the FLA to prevent fraud.
“What used to happen was that fingerprints were taken and forwarded to the police records office and a report sent back. We discovered a couple months ago that persons were actually submitting fingerprints that were not theirs and the records would come back absolutely clean and the persons were not clean,” he said.

Senior staff members at the Authority are also to be polygraphed, and the literacy test sat by applicants, which was previously discontinued, is to resume, the minister further informed.

“I have yet to see an official reason but was told that a lot of overseas persons who reside in Jamaica couldn't understand English that is why the test was discontinued. English happens to be our official and standard language and going forward if you're going to apply for a firearm licence we need to know that you're literate and we also need to know that you understand the safe handling of the firearm and the law,” he insisted.

Alphea Saunders

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