Opposition Leader calls for resignation of Commissioner and Minister of Police over gun licenses
The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, and his boss the Minister of Police, Kareem Musa, are once being asked to resign by the Leader of the Opposition, Moses “Shyne” Barrow. This time Barrow’s call is in relation to what he says is a significant increase in the issuing of gun licenses. Barrow claims that many of the murders being committed are being done with legal firearms, and says the ComPol is to be blamed. Barrow claims that statistically under the UDP there was a lower rate of gun licenses being issued.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “The Commissioner of Police has exhausted his benefit to the Belizean people and it is time for him to resign, to retire because he is being totally a hurdle to any progress in the ministry of police. I believe the minister of police should go along with him. The only new industry that he has created is the coffin industry with all of these murders that have taken place. The only new industry Chester should be the CEO of new industry because license, gun licenses is the new industry. He can say what he wants he needs to remember that he was the commissioner for a few years under the UDP and I can tell you, you are journalists, do an FOI and ask them to open up the gun license registry and you will see. If you go back to commissioner Wylie even Jeffries but let’s stay to Wylie you will see that very few gun licenses were given out per annum. You will see that under the UDP when Chester was commissioner there were very few gun licenses. You heard the Senator Peyrefitte say yesterday that he had written to the commissioner to give someone a license and the commissioner said no so when the commissioner wants to blame all of the failings of his incompetence on the UDP it is very disingenuous and you just need to go to the gun license registry and you will see that the increase in the issuances of gun license has increased exponentially under the PUP government with ComPol as the one issuing the license he has that final determination.”
Barrow, who was convicted in the United States and later deported to Belize, was asked to comment on whether persons with criminal records should be issued gun licenses, given that he is the holder of a gun license.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “I believe that it depends on the length of time that has elapsed since someone has committed a crime, that is something we discussed with the constitution commission. You know you go and ask Albert Vaughan if ten years from now his daughter should still be accused of being a murderer or she killed somebody’s son I am sure, if you listen to his narrative now, she’s just a kid and she just made a mistake and I agree with him that she is a child and so if—no, no, that doesn’t excuse whatever potential crime that is for the judge, well 24 again I’d like to finish my sentence please– but I do agree that that is a young age and there is much time for reform and rehabilitation. So what needs to happen in our system of laws is we need to give people an opportunity to move on with their lives. So I don’t believe if someone committed a crime 15 years ago they should still be deprived of their right to whatever or their privileges to whatever. 10 years ago – absolutely, it well it’s not a right, it is not a right in our constitution it is not a right but I don’t believe Belizeans should be deprived of any privilege or any right in perpetuity I don’t agree with that and it also depends on the crime. If you committed murder and you got 25 years or you got 30 years and you came out it would be reasonable for the Commissioner of Police to deprive you of having a gun license so it all depends. I don’t think it should be a blanket one-size-fits-all when it comes to who committed crimes, what the crime was and how long ago the crime was committed.”