Many persons stand to be directly affected if the government implements its decision of raising the fees for gun licences in Guyana with a majority of these people being farmers and of the indigenous heritage.
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Clement Rohee earlier today during a media briefing stated that under his tenure as Home Affairs Minister, a large number of farmers would complain about their livestock and crops being threatened and destroyed by wild animals.
This, he said, was what propelled them to apply for gun licences which once granted would provide them with an opportunity of safeguarding what was theirs from external threats.
“They needed at least one firearm to protect their crops. Amerindian communities was another sector that was given consideration in that respect because Amerindians live a life that required moving from bow and arrow to some form of firearm which was mainly a shotgun to assist them in protecting their families, villages etc. Not only were they given priority in terms of the issuing of licences but in terms of fees for years those fees were never increased,” Rohee posited.
Rohee noted that with this in mind, it is expected that once there is an increase of the exorbitant figure which the Administration has decided upon then “the wiser the government, the smarter the population, if the fees go up I am sure the bribes will increase as well.”
He pointed out that while he was serving as Minister of the then Home Affairs Ministry, there was never a shortage of application for firearm licences and because of this, the then Administration sought to “adopt one of the recommendations from the Discipline Services report” which was the establishment of a Board to examine these applications.
“Now the Firearm Licence Act was revisited because what the discipline services report recommended was that it appears to them in the past that there was some element of arbitrariness in the issuing of firearm licences…therefore what is required is the establishment of a more regularized system and the establishment of mechanisms to address the questions, to address the applications in a more organised and more harmonious way. We then moved to move the firearms act by putting in place a Board,” the PPP General Secretary said.
He explained that at the time of the change in government there were steps being taken for persons to apply electronically for firearm licences, and a total review of the procedures for the application for firearm licences had already been established. All that was left to be done was to take these regulations to the parliament for acceptance.