Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee yesterday announced that the ministry has embarked on a review of the licencing process for firearms with a view to improving accountability and efficiency and has put in place fees to recoup processing costs.
Speaking at a forum held at the new Police Training College on Camp Road, the minister said the review of the process was as a consequence of the establishment of the Firearms Licensing Approval Board.
“To date, a Firearms Licensing Management System (FLMS) has been developed for the Guyana Police Force, to support application, maintenance and renewal of firearm licences, by the Guyana Police Force,” he said.
He said that the FLMS will allow police divisions to electronically record firearm licence applications. “It uses an activity-based methodology to support the process from application to approval or rejection,” he said. “The ministry will have full access to this system.”
He said application forms have been designed for 10 categories of applicants and purposes.
“The application forms will replace the letter of application, which more often than not, excludes vital information necessary to arrive at a decision, on the applicant’s suitability for a firearm licence, or other requests made,” he said.
Rohee said persons can either download the forms from the ministry’s or police force’s websites, or pick up forms at police stations.
The minister explained that fees were instituted to recoup costs for the processing of applications.
Rohee said that a fee of $5,000 will be charged for shotgun licences for small-scale farmers, fishers, small-scale Amerindian farmers/loggers; $20,000 for handguns (9 mm pistol and .32 pistol/revolver); $25,000 for rifles and $30,000 for firearms/ammunition dealers
He said exemption from the payment of a fee will be limited only to those persons who appeal the refusal of their applications.
He said too that the issuance of firearm licences in plastic form is to be mandatory for all licensees.