Former Home Affairs Minister and Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) General Secretary, Clement Rohee has stated that President David Granger’s position on guns and their relation to crime will not address the precarious crime situation in the country, noting that fear is the main driver behind gun ownership.
Rohee made these comments during a press conference earlier today where he stated that the basis on which the government wants to launch the campaign to clamp down on private gun ownership is unsubstantiated.
“They claim that they have been hearing stories and that licensed firearm holders may be renting their firearm to criminal elements. Is this the basis on which this campaign is going to be launched? Hearsay?”
During his weekly broadcast of “The Public Interest” programme, President Granger mentioned that he has heard stories of private citizens renting their guns to criminals; as such he expressed his desire to have lesser firearms in the hands of private citizens.
However, today, Rohee argued that if government wants to address the issue of illegal firearms in the country, it should have commenced since 1979.
“If the government wants to seriously address illegal firearms in society the first thing they must address is the missing 237 weapons, among them semi-automatic weapons that were issued from the Guyana Defence Force in 1979 to the Ministry of National Mobilization and Development. In addition, 7 Smith and Wesson weapons were issued on May 18, 1976, to Mr. Robert Corbin, the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister,” he said.
The Parliamentarian reminded that once the government’s crime prevention strategy continues to fail, then fear will exist in the population.