Systematic gun license programme to be implemented

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Minister of Public Security and Second-Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan addressing the Executives of the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce and members of the Upper Corentyne Fisherman’s Coop Society Limited

Ramjattan 1[www.inewsguyana.com] – Addressing the executives of the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, June 24, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan observed that the ministry, under the previous administration, was issuing gun licenses in an “ad hoc” manner.

It is for this reason that the Public Security Ministry has put applications on hold and is moving to implement a systematic and transparent procedure for their issuance.

The minister, speaking at a meeting conducted at City Inn Hotel, Line Path, advised that he has since asked the advisory board to come up with systematic policies and programmes that should soon see the licenses being granted “with a sense of reasoning.”

He said that this should bring not just order to the system, but dissuade the existing regime of tolerance for corruption that occurs now in this “ad hoc” system of issuing gun licenses.

“I do not want people to pay bribe for anything… you go through the process, and if the process did not grant you what you want, you are entitled to make a complaint,” the Minister said.

Minister of Public Security and Second-Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan addressing the Executives of  the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce and members of the Upper Corentyne Fisherman’s Coop Society Limited
Minister of Public Security and Second-Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan addressing the Executives of the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce and members of the Upper Corentyne Fisherman’s Coop Society Limited

The minister also spoke of other plans to have a gun amnesty for firearms that are illegally held. He explained that the ministry is still working out the details for this, but once this amnesty is granted those caught after with illegal firearms will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The Minister told the gathering that under – utilised vehicles issued to Community Policing Groups (CPGs) are being transferred to the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

Minister Ramjattan disclosed that his ministry will be delivering to the Force, 38 vehicles that were handed over to CPGs by the last administration. These were under-utilised by the CPGs, and will be better used by the police force which is not only in need of vehicles, but also “the first line of defence for public security.”

He explained further that these vehicles will be transferred to those divisions where crime rates have spiked. He said that this move should ensure more patrols in these areas.

The Minister also urged care of the vehicles explaining that he has visited several police stations and witnessed the state of vehicles just under three years old.

He also advised against unauthorised use of the vehicles stressing that those found guilty will be prosecuted. [Extracted and modified from GINA]

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