Gun owners warned

FLA to launch full enforcement campaign in January

Friday, December 07, 2018

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The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) says that as of Thursday, January 3, 2019, it will commence a full enforcement drive, in accordance with the law, to have firearm holders who have not renewed their licences charged by the police.

According to the FLA, it will be providing the Jamaica Constabulary Force with the list of firearm licence holders who have not renewed their licences for years, to have them charged under the provisions of the Firearms Act.

“The law requires all firearm licences to be renewed annually, with rounds accounted for and weapons inspected. Failing to do so carries a penalty of up to 12 months' imprisonment or a fine of $200,000,” the FLA said in a news release yesterday.

Last night, FLA Chief Executive Officer Shane Dalling told the Jamaica Observer there are 5,000 firearm holders who have still not renewed their licences.

“What we are encountering is a disregard for the law and the seriousness of owning a firearm,” Dalling said. “We now have to go the route of full enforcement to get compliance.”

Dalling pointed to the case of former policeman Glenford Steele who was last month sentenced in the St Elizabeth Circuit Court to eight years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Steele was held in St Elizabeth on August 8, 2016 with a firearm belonging to a man who was killed in St Ann in 2014. He also had a car which was stolen in Manchester.

He is facing charges in relation to that matter, as well as impersonating a police officer.

Dalling also recounted that Marlon “Duppy Film” Perry, one of Jamaica's most wanted criminals, was in possession of a firearm owned by a licensed gun holder when he was killed in a shoot-out with police at a St Thomas guest house in September 2017.

“We want to be able to account for the guns that are out there,” Dalling said, explaining that some owners may be living overseas or dead.

Yesterday, the FLA said that since June 2017 it has been conducting a series of drives geared at achieving full compliance of licensed firearm holders.

It also said it has begun discussions with the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency to implement an alert system at all airports on delinquent licence holders who are leaving the island.

The FLA reiterated that it promotes firearm safety and responsibility, and as such, is urging licensed firearm holders to, at all times, be compliant and submit to the law, rules and regulations governing the issuance of their licences.

It also encouraged all delinquent firearm licence holders to “make themselves compliant before Thursday, January 3, 2019, so as to avoid any possible consequence under the law”.

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