Coming Soon: Public consultations on gun law

By Benjamin Fllowers
Staff Reporter

Citizens will have a chance to express their opinions about the controversial amendment to the Firearms Act in upcoming public consultations, according to Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow.

Barrow speaking at a special sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday explained that government tabled the law for reform and will be looking to the citizenry for its input on how best to make changes.

Barrow explained that the goal is to give people the opportunity to have their say, before the Bill is presented to the House again.

“Let’s try to get it right by the time we come back for second and third readings,” Barrow said.

Government also tabled a Bill relating to receiving bail after being charged for gun possession offences under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act.

He noted that the second amendment discusses not being able to receive bail for 14 days once charged with a gun possession offense.

It also allows for situations where that provision can be waved in light of a person’s character.

He explained that someone who is “known to be of good character [and] doesn’t have gang connections” would not have that “no-bail” provision applied to him.

Since the 2008 amendment was passed several private citizens and lobby groups have criticized its effectiveness and pointed to potential danger to the public.

Attorney General Wilfred Elrington has said that both the Office of the Solicitor General and the Ministry of National Security have been looking into amending the law.

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