Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan yesterday said that he will be reviewing the criteria for firearms licences and could possibly make changes or even create new criteria.
GINA said that in responding to a question from the media in relation to persons misusing their licensed firearms, he said “I have put all licence matters, that are on my desk on hold, until we work out with the Firearms Advisory Board, which I have not as yet met, what are the criteria, the existing ones, and what will be the criteria that I will want…I know a couple of the criteria already, but I think I will want to tweak it a little differently.”
He will also meet with the Commissioner of Police on this matter.
GINA reported the minister as also saying that there are “scores and scores of applications on my desk and I’m just holding them…what I would want as part of having a grasp of the situation too, are not only the files that will come up for me to sign off, in relation to the granting of firearm licences, but I would also want to know how many files were not granted and which have not come up to my desk, and what are the reasons for those too.”
He said that this is because numerous persons have been complaining that they have applied for a firearm licence over a number of years, but have not had any response. Therefore, the Minister said that in addition to those applications that are before him, he would also like to know why the hundreds of others have not been responded to.
“It is a big part of this Ministry’s work to ensure that there is no discrimination, that there is fairness, and reasonableness in the (process), and those who are entitled will get, and those who are not entitled will not get,” said the Minister.
GINA said that he added that the review process will soon commence “and if indeed I get complaints that people who ought not to get had gotten licences, then I am going to ask for certain reviews… it is not as if you can just go and demand as a minister, take the gun licences away… it is not done that way at all…we have to work through the processes, that is, the administrative processes and so on, that are reasonable before we do that.”