OAS Donates Firearm Marker Machine to Belize Police Department
Today the Organization of American States (OAS) donated a firearm marker machine to the Belize Police Department, to aid the police in the fight against illicit firearms trafficking. OAS Representative in Belize, Luiz Octavio Coimbra, handed over the machine to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams at the OCAS country office in Belize City. Coimbra explained that the donation forms a part of a larger initiative by the OAS to support its member countries battling the illegal firearms trade. He added that the machine will also be accompanied by training for police officers.
Commissioner Williams explained that marking firearms will give police a greater understanding of how guns are moving in the region. He explained that police in Belize have, on occasion, recovered firearms that have been marked by authorities in Guatemala. He noted that authorities in other countries would not be able to determine if they recovered firearms that came from Belize since large-scale marking isn’t done here. He said that the department does mark weapons issued to police officers and he intends to launch a project to mark licensed civilian weapons as well. Williams explained that he already has the authority to mandate marking civilian weapons and explained the method he will likely take to do so.