By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
Police have arrested a seamstress from Orange Walk, and her son for having an unlicensed firearm and accompanying ammunition.
The Orange Walk police’s Quick Response Team reported that they searched the home of Mavis Wade at #25 Saint Peter Street Orange Walk Town on Saturday, in the presence of Wade, and her son Steven Hyde, who is a student.
While searching one of the rooms, police found a stack of books on a computer table. Those books had a square-shaped hole cut into the centre where the firearm was kept. Officers retrieved a nine millimetre CZ-83 Browning pistol with the serial number filed off. Police also discovered 13 bullets inside a white sock and 52 .380 brand live rounds.
They have both been charged. Under the Firearms Amendment Act of 2015, police can decide whether or not they will charge a member of a household found to contain an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. The 2014 Amendment builds on one passed in 2008 which said that all members of a household could be arrested for a single round of ammunition found in the house hold.
Under the provisions of the act, the person exempt of charges must be shown to be of good character, and must be found to reasonably have had no knowledge. The magistrates have also been endowed with the ability to choose whether or not the mandatory sentence of two years imprisonment should be given to a defendant in such cases.
Since police charged Wade jointly with her son, police may have reason to believe that she did not fit the criteria to have been exempt from charges.