May be time for gun laws review after ‘very worrying’ shootings -Ramotar

Calling the recent spate of gun violence “very worrying,” President Donald Ramotar has said he believes that the time has come for a review of the laws governing the ownership and use of firearms.

In recent weeks, there has been growing concern about the ownership and use of the firearms, particularly in wake of the November 12th Middle Street rampage by miner Deryck Kanhai, who killed four people before he was killed and businessman Ramdat Lokhnauth, who shot his wife Siromani Lokhnauth dead before turning the gun on himself.

According to a Government Infor-mation Agency (GINA) report, during a special interview at the Office of the President (OP), Ramotar said he did not think that the renewal of gun licences should be automatic.

“The ministry and the police should have a right to review these, and see that the guns are in the hands of responsible people,” the agency quoted the president as saying.

According to GINA, Ramotar said some other issues needed to be dealt with, including the Guyana Police Force’s ability to solve crimes and the judicial system’s need for enhancement. The report indicated that the courts’ defects were highlighted when big cases were dismissed despite overwhelming evidence.

“First offenders being in prison a long time before their cases come up…these things can have an impact on creating criminals instead of correcting people who have gone astray and could be corrected. We have to look at it in its totality. It is a concern and a very big concern for us,” GINA quoted Ramotar as saying.

Recently, Home Minister Clement Rohee had indicated frustration with the recent rise of killings in the country and had declared that he was prepared to table amendments to the gun laws “to keep them out of the hands of those who, for various reasons were unsuitable to possess them legally,” the GINA report stated.

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