Firearms expert: Get rid of illegal guns

This was the view expressed yesterday by managing director of the Firearms Training Institute Ltd, Towfeek Ali.

At the post-Cabinet news conference at Whitehall on Thursday, National Security Minister Martin Joseph said Government will bring new gun control legislation in an attempt to curb the escalating murder rate.

“What obtains now is unacceptable and as a result, there is a need to change the laws to make gun ownership more stringent,” Joseph said.

Ali told Newsday that the process whereby persons apply to legally own a firearm is “already difficult.”

He explained that under the current laws, firearms applicants must provide a certificate of good character, the police have to perform extensive background checks on the applicants and the final decision to approve the application rests with the Commissioner of Police.

Ali added that the minimum time during which someone can legally acquire a firearm is one year.

Individuals who want to obtain firearms for personal use apply for a firearms user licence. Corporate bodies, such as private security firms, apply for firearms user employee certificates to acquire firearms which are used by their employees during working hours.

Ali said he did not know what gun control measures Government will bring to Parliament, but believed “the problem lies with illegal guns”, adding that this trade must be halted to help reduce the number of gun-related crimes.

Statistics provided by Joseph on Thursday showed the number of guns used to commit crimes had increased from 138 in 2007 to 255, as of August 6.

There were small increases in the use of sharp/cutting instruments, twine or rope, blunt instruments and poison in committing crimes over this period.


"Firearms expert: Get rid of illegal guns"

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