The new, red-hot Firearms Act
Jason McKay

IT'S finally here. After years of waiting, planning, writing, debating, and most of all hoping, the new Firearms Act is ready to be unleashed on the gangs of this country.

This could be a new beginning. However, it's going to need a few things done right.

The Act comes with a whopping 15-year minimum sentence for possession of a firearm. It comes with a 20-year minimum for shooting with intent. There are no more fines, short sentences, or guaranteed reduction of sentences for guilty pleas.

This Act favours law enforcement and the rule of law.

This is a reasonable response to a country which is bleeding to death. This is reasonable for a country that has suffered from a guaranteed reduced sentence system for guilty pleas. This is reasonable for a country that is trying to take back its future from gang rule. This is the best piece of paper of any colour to go through Parliament in my lifetime.

Remember, I said a few things will have to be done to complement it and to make it right. Well, let us start with marketing the implications of this Act to Jamaica's young.

Forget the mongrels that have already started the killing, they are too dunce to understand that their destruction is now certain.

Develop and focus on a marketing plan to let Jamaica know that being caught with a gun or ammunition is literally the end of your useful life. This has to be done professionally so hire the private sector; Government knows nothing about marketing anything. Put this in the hands of a professional.

The next thing we need to do right is to deal with the Bail Act. My understanding is that you are still allowed bail if you are charged under this Act. This will make all the effort redundant; the gunmen will simply plead not guilty, get bail, and then jump bail. Or, so many of them will plead not guilty that the current Gun Court structure will not be able to accommodate trials in a reasonable period of time, and the offenders will be out killing the rest of us whilst they are waiting years for a trial.

The entire structure of the Gun Court will need to be expanded to accommodate this accumulated number of persons pleading not guilty. This is imperative if this Act is supposed to have the effect for which it was intended. The facility currently available to remand prisoners will have to be expanded to accommodate not guilty pleas that will result in more killers being remanded. They have behaved like animals but in keeping with civilised conduct we cannot house them like animals — at least not till they are convicted.

The Government needs to budget for this expanded remand population. It will require more money to feed the prisoners, more correctional officers to guard them, and more use of water and other overheads. Be warned! This can be a great thing if it is planned for properly or a disaster if it is not.

It's a great step forward because it includes implications for persons living abroad who are financing the exportation of guns to Jamaica. Most conflicts that cause death and mayhem in Jamaica are being provoked by Jamaicans living in the United States and England. This Act accommodates a methodology to impact them and their cowardly behaviour.

Let us face facts. The American and British Governments are simply not doing enough to control Jamaican gangsters from sending guns to Jamaica. Neither are they doing enough to stop them from financing gang conflicts in Jamaica. This baffles me because there is no way that they are making their money legitimately. Could it be that it is this easy to operate illicit businesses in the United States and England, the two countries with the most effective law enforcement agencies in the world?

I know of literal idiots from Central Village and Portmore who have gone overseas with their tails between their legs hiding from Jamaica law enforcement and are living in the United States and England whilst fueling, provoking, and in many cases arming Jamaican gangs. I am so confused as to how they survive that system with so many resources and less crime.

If you want help please ask, or send them back to us. Well, based on this legislation you can send them back to us in chains.

I have heard defence lawyers speak of a constitutional challenge to this Act. My response is: Please remember you are Jamaicans, you are human, you are decent people before you are defenders of your clients. We are fighting for our very existence. We are trying not to return to the days of Jim Brown, the untouchable Christopher "Dudus" Coke the all-powerful, and the days when politicians were more afraid of gang leaders than voters.

This is the beginning of saving our country. Don't help us drown again.

Jason McKay

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