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Not Safe!

Gun licensing office in Mandeville should be relocated, says FLA boss

By Kasey Williams
Observer writer

Monday, February 10, 2020

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester- Chief executive officer (CEO) of the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) Shane Dalling is worried that licensed firearm holders who conduct business at the FLA's Mandeville Regional Office are being exposed to security risks.

Dalling told local business leaders at the monthly meeting of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce on Thursday (February 6) that the location of the Mandeville office was never ideal.

However, he has become extremely uncomfortable about the situation since a fire in November last year which damaged the more than 200-year-old courthouse at the centre of Mandeville. The fire forced the relocation of the court's office and court sessions to a section of James Warehouse Plaza, directly upstairs the FLA's Mandeville Regional Office.

“The plan was always to relocate the regional office because the location is not ideal. It really [was] a temporary measure for convenience for the citizens of Manchester, Clarendon and St Elizabeth,” said Dalling.

“What is happening now with the relocation of the courthouse has compounded the problem. I discussed with the Superintendent of Police (Gary Francis), when the courthouse was just relocated and had discussions with the minister to look at the impact that it is having,” he said.

He added: “Where the courthouse is now, it is exposing and putting the license holders at risk. This is because you have people who are charged — criminals — now seeing persons going into the office with their weapons. Some people have shotguns, and so they are walking into the office, and persons now know that they have...firearms.”

“[Persons] are being exposed by the very nature of the FLA at that location. It is something that we are looking at more urgently now to move from that location [and] find a suitable place. What I call a 'stand-alone' site where we don't share with other [agencies] because the privacy of the individual [licensed firearm holder] is paramount to us,” said Dalling.


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