Gov’t to look into multiple gun licences’ issuance
GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman has criticised the political opposition for its claims that the responsibility for the spate of criminal activities rests wholly and solely with Government.
During the Parliamentary sitting on November 4, Trotman posited that many of the youths who are involved in committing crimes grew up under the previous administration.
Minister Trotman stated, “We inherited much of the lawlessness that was allowed to thrive. I don’t understand as a lawyer myself what is happening. When I first came to the Bar, a criminal with respect was an identifiable person. Now there are fourteen-year olds who are killing. They weren’t born when the APNU/AFC Government took over!”
The Minister explained that President David Granger does not need to be lectured on security as, “He is in, and of himself, world recognised, a security expert who has been invited to give lectures, to be a professor at the Center for Hemispheric Studies, has Mr. Speaker, been consulted.”
The recent statements by the Head of State on crimes, he said, have been deliberately misinterpreted. President Granger had called for a reduction to the issuance of many private gun licences, saying that he preferred that they are in the hands of the police and military.
Minister Trotman stressed that there are persons who carry licences for 10, 15 and 20 firearms. Those are the persons, he said, who will be targeted. “Statistics show that many of the firearms recovered are firearms that are stolen from households and people who have been given licences, and have left them carelessly and they have been lost.”
He questioned, “Why do you need 16 firearm licences if you are one person? Why do you need, Mr. Speaker, high-calibre assault rifles in this country? We have a military. We have a police force. It is our duty to protect citizens, but we will not be lectured to or allow private armies to reign in this country.”
President Granger recently stated on the television programme ‘Public Interest’, “We would like to see fewer weapons in the hands of private citizens; it is my personal view that weapons should be used by law enforcement agencies – the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force.”
The President stated that Government will try to detect people coming into the country with illegal firearms. There is a plethora of measures which will be implemented and “the whole policy is aimed at getting guns off the streets, and leaving guns in the hands of the police and the army.”
By: Paul McAdam