ComPol admit to misspelling man’s name to prevent him from using gun license
The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, has conceded to intentionally misspelling a man’s name on a gun license to prevent him from using such license. In recent weeks, UDP Chairman, Michael Peyrefitte, admitted that during his tenure as Minister of National Security, he attempted to force Williams to issue a gun license to a man from western Belize. Williams has gone on record to say that he refused to follow Peyrefitte’s order due to claims that the applicant had a criminal record. Peyrefitte then responded and claimed that despite the ComPol’s refusal the same individual was issued a license after the 2020 General Elections. Well today, the Commissioner cleared things up, saying that he did indeed misspell the man’s name because he did not want to issue the license.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “He outlined what transpired in terms of him giving me a written directive to issue the license and I did issue the license before the elections but the firearms clerk made an error with the spelling of the name and before that, before the elections I was again asked by Mr. Peyrefitte and even after the elections I was asked by him to correct the name. And the truth be told I refused to correct the name. I’m being honest. I certainly did not want to give him a gun license. Najera himself had tried to reach out to me through other persons and I said I am not going to issue it. Nonetheless he went to an attorney, I’m not going to say which attorney, but he went to one and the attorney wrote a lawyer letter which makes sense because the truth is the Police Act do give the minister the powers to instruct the commissioner in writing. And I got a written instruction from the then minister to issue the license. And so Mr. Banner’s letter was to say that the fact that the minister had issued instructions to issue the license and you had issued it just that the name was spelled wrong, you must comply with the law and issue the license. So if not then he was going to take us to court. So to avoid a court matter, I decided I’m going to accede to the lawyer’s request and issue the license. But at the same token I said to myself well I will issue but I’m going to monitor him very closely because as he slip I will take it away. And it so happened he got the gun license and in 2023, I think this year, he got married and he at his wedding he took out his gun and he fired multiple shots in a air. I got the video of it and he was arrested and charged. He went before the court. He pled guilty and the court confiscated his firearm and I revoked the gun license. And that was the end of it.”