Belize Police Commissioner Skeptical About Effectiveness of Firearms Control Board

Belize Police Commissioner Skeptical About Effectiveness of Firearms Control Board

The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, says he isn’t too confident that establishing a Firearms and Ammunition Control Board will prevent criminals from obtaining licensed firearms. Earlier this month, the Briceno Administration announced it would establish a board after there were several reports of gun licenses being sold to persons with criminal records. The move will relinquish the ComPol of his gun license duties and will reportedly allow for more oversight when issuing firearm licenses. However, Williams says there is no concrete evidence to suggest the board will prevent criminals from obtaining gun licenses. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We cannot be naive to think that a board is going to solve our problem. I have given example of Jamaica where there is a board and right now as we speak there is queries in Jamaica because of the fact that there are a number of criminals who get gun license through the board. I always believe that the police regardless of who the Commissioner of Police may be, the Commissioner of Police will always be more stricter in granting gun license because we know that when gun license are issued what the effect it can have not only on the society itself but on the police officers who respond to criminals and criminal activities. And so we are going to be extremely slow in granting gun license to persons who do not meet the criteria. So to say that the board is going to make it better, I am not going to say that. I’m not going to say either that the board is going to make it worse the proof of that is going to be when it happens then we’ll see how it goes from there.”

Reporter: We have gotten from sources that there is one politician who has a police record and a gun license, and I’ll ask everybody to not mention the name, but we were told it was the mayor of Benque. I’m not sure if you know about this. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “But why do we have to go to the mayor of Benque when we have Shyne right here. Come on man stop your fool now, please. I think in the case of the mayor of Benque, that’s an extremely, extremely old matter compared to the Shyne’s one. I think from he was a little boy, man is  a big man now over 20 years ago he has certainly proven himself to be an outstanding person, he’s the mayor of a town. If a person have an old criminal record and have shown that since then they have become a better person, they have paid their dues to society, they are established business people I don’t see why they should be denied. It’s not like they are persons out there who are running around still giving the police problem or committing crime with a firearm. If you were to look at the amount of firearms that are licensed firearms that have been used to commit crime, it is less than one percent. So what is the issue?”

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