By William Ysaguirre
Activist Russell Roberts has garnered support of several groups to amend Belize’s gun laws, and is now seeking signatures to trigger an audience with the Prime Minister.
Roberts held a press conference on Thursday, informing that he has consulted with attorneys on the sections of the law that must be revisited.
Roberts is pleading with those who have been affected by the law, and any who are concerned about its implications, to sign the petition.
He also said that the attorneys have agreed to do pro bono work on cases where citizens feel that the gun law has infringed on their rights, and encourages the public to take advantage of the service.
Roberts’ list of supporters now includes Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, the Belize Grass Roots Youth Empowerment Association BGYEA, Commoners- led by Nedal “Jihad” McLaren, and activist Rufus X.
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) has also pledged its support.
This week, CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Ret. Colonel George Lovell, rebutted Roberts’ protest saying that the laws, particularly the 2008 amendment of the Firearms Act, which speaks to evidence of joint possession, was made to ensure a better Belize and not to oppress its citizens.
Lovell went on to say that the law was passed to deter family members of offenders who have illegal fire arms from keeping it secret form the police.
The amendment states that if an illegal fire arm and or ammunition is found in or on any premises, the police have the right to detain all occupants of the premises and the onus is on them to prove that they had no knowledge of the illegal items.