[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Home Affairs has come out in full condemnation saying it notes with ‘utter disgust’ comments made by Opposition Leader David Granger which chided the Ministry in relation to the recent shooting incident by businessman Deryck Kanhai which left four persons dead, including two policemen.
Opposition Leader David Granger while making reference to the Middle Street ‘massacre’ had stated that “a big part of the problem was the rampant gun running; lax attitude to gun licensing by the Ministry of Home Affairs; and weak law enforcement by the Guyana Police Force.”
In response to this, the Ministry in a statement on Friday (November 15) said that such a move by the APNU to lay blame at their feet for the incident is both nonsensical and shameless.
“The Ministry rejects in its totality such a brazen attempt to disparage its image and its efforts to execute its lawful mandate,” the statement added.
The Ministry said “claims of “rampant gun running”, “lax attitude to gun licensing by the Ministry of Home Affairs” and “weak law enforcement by the Guyana Police Force” are but a clear demonstration of the level of Mr. Granger’s ignorance of the work of the Ministry, and its achievements in the security sector. Granger and his merry band have chosen to bury their heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich.”
In respect of firearms licensing, the Ministry of Home Affairs reminded of the implementation of the recommendation of the Disciplined Forces Commission, of which Granger himself was a member.
A Firearms Licensing Approval Board was established in April 2010, by way of Regulations under the Firearms Act (Cap 16:05). This Board is actively considering recommendations made by the Police for persons to be licensed.
The Ministry made it clear that no one is automatically granted a firearm license, adding that all applicants are stringently vetted.
Granger had also reiterated his call for tighter border security to prevent illegal guns entering the country; increase in the strength of the Guyana Police Force and improvement in the standard of training for its members.
“In true ‘Rip Van Winkle’ style, Granger calls for ‘tighter border security to prevent illegal guns entering the country.’ This is indeed astounding, especially coming from the man under whose leadership the Firearm Amendment Bill, which was taken to National Assembly in March of this year, was rejected” the Ministry further stated.
The Ministry reiterated its full support to boosting the level of recruitment, and training in the Guyana Police Force. Coupled with this is the ongoing process of reform and modernization of the Guyana Police Force.
“We remain convinced that the combined Opposition is in fact working to protect the criminal underworld in Guyana. The belief being peddled by Granger and his ilk that they have the ‘silver bullet’ in their gloves in respect to challenges confronting the security sector in Guyana is a myth that cannot be substantiated.”
According to the statement, “The Ministry of Home Affairs will not be distracted by the ‘sour-pusses’ in the APNU and their negative spirit.”