Gun control must be improved
THE EDITOR, Sir: I AGREE that stricter laws and procedures are required regarding the use, possession and ownership of firearms. This requires urgent attention, considering firearms are used in most murders in Jamaica, mostly illegal weapons. It is unbelievable that the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) now reports that the file for Patrick Powell, the accused in the murder death of KC student in the back of a taxi, has gone missing.
Do the authorities rely only on paper files? Why isn’t the information digitalised and backed up electronically? A licence should also include multiple photos of the weapon, tagged to the bearer, with their fingerprints, etc. Firearms are extremely dangerous weapons, and if we are issuing licences, we should ensure that proper procedures and laws are in place to protect citizens. There should also be stricter laws for firearm holders who tamper with evidence or refuse to hand over a licensed weapon for testing in a case before the courts. Otherwise, what’s the point of allowing them to carry these weapons if they are able to do as they please and get away with it?
BAIL TOO EASY
We also heard that the accused in the stabbing death of the Jamaica College student during a phone-robbery attempt in a bus was currently out on bail for possession of an illegal firearm. In my view, bail should not be so easy in cases involving possession of illegal weapons, unless in cases where evidence is purely circumstantial or weak.
If you are found with an illegal firearm, there should be serious consequences, and bail should not be an option. If you carry an illegal weapon, obviously, your intent is to carry out illegal activities, and you pose a serious threat to society.
You should, therefore, face the consequences which should also include a quick trial. The criminals and gangsters are beating us with their game, finding holes and loopholes to carry out their wicked deeds and are getting away with it. We cannot curb crime, unless we get more serious and tighten the system. This should be done immediately.