Police warn against gun salutes to ring in new year
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is appealing to licensed firearm holders to desist from the illegal and dangerous practice of gun salutes to ring in the New Year.
Under Section 51(2) of the Firearms (Prohibition, Restriction, and Regulations) Act 2022, the penalty for engaging in gun salutes is a fine of up to $3 million or imprisonment for up to three years.
Head of the JCF Corporate Communications Unit, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Stephanie Lindsay, told a recent JIS Think Tank that in addition to being a criminal offence to discharge a weapon within 40 yards of a gathering and a public thoroughfare, the act could cost people their lives.
“In the midst of alcohol consumption and irresponsible behaviour, people lose their lives because of an action that should never happen. So, we are putting it out there very early, if you think of doing that, think twice, not just from a standpoint that you can be arrested, but from the standpoint that you will be charged for murder,” she said.
SSP Lindsay further urged firearm holders to be responsible in the handling, storage and use of their weapons when attending social events, or New Year’s Eve celebrations this weekend.
She said the JCF has noted instances in which firearm holders inappropriately store their weapons in their vehicles when attending ‘weapon-free’ events.
“I want to say to persons to desist from doing that. Do not leave your firearms in your vehicles. There are some event promoters who will arrange with security companies to safeguard those weapons, but make prior arrangements. Leave your weapons at home in your safe. It is better to do that,” she urged.