New Firearms and Ammunition Control Board Appointed

New Firearms and Ammunition Control Board Appointed

The Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa, has appointed members to the recently established Firearms and Ammunition Control Board. In late 2023, the Firearms Act was amended to enact the board and replace the Commissioner of Police as the sole authority tasked with regulating the licensing of firearms. Today, Musa announced that the board will comprise his CEO, Sharole Carr-Saldivar, Magistrate Mannon Dennison, and Senior Superintendent of Police, Clement Cacho. The board will now be the sole authority responsible for all aspects of firearm licenses.  Interestingly, this amendment may not result in a permanent fix when it comes to guns falling into the wrong hands, according to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well I don’t see an issue with any of them. It’s a matter for the Minister to appoint. Yes as the Commissioner I have a nominee on the board and I had nominated Mr.Cacho to be my nominee and I think the Magistrate Mr.Denison I think and the other person – honestly I don’t even know the composition of the board but I think the CEO is the other person I would want to think. So the three persons have been nominated. They have a task ahead of them to do which is to ensure that they look at the whole issue of gun license, approve and deny gun licenses and I’m sure that they are going to do the best that they can where that is concerned.”

Reporter: I know you said in the past that other countries when they implement such boards like Jamaica it may lead to some more issues or maybe some more porousness when it comes to persons getting gun licenses, is that still your stance ? 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well every. – it doesn’t matter how tight you put something people are always going to find a way to infiltrate it and so we’re dealing with a human element here. The board is going to be guided by vetting. The vetting is done by Special Branch. Special Branch are humans. There may be a person who might get a good vetting and the person might not be as good as the vetting speaks of him or her and that is just human nature. And if it is that the board were to issue a license to a person whose vetting is impeccable and it turns out that that person is not as impeccable as the vetting states then you can’t fault the board for that and neither can you fault the vetting officers because the vetting officers will have to work on the information that they’re getting from persons they’re interviewing during the course of the vetting. So there is always going to be that margin of error where there are going to be persons who are going to get who don’t deserve. Even like I said before the embassy has a very stringent rule when it comes to issuing of visa but I am sure that the embassy has issued visa to people who they regret they issue the visa to. It’s just human nature how it works so we cannot penalize the board if that were to happen that someone gets a license who turns out not to be as impeccable as the vetting would have speak of him, the board can’t be penalized for that it’s just how things work at times.”

The board held an inaugural meeting today.

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