Op­po­si­tion spokesman re­jects Mon­tague’s ex­pla­na­tion of firearm li­cences

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

OP­PO­SI­TION SPOKESMAN on na­tional se­cu­rity, Fitz Jack­son, says the re­cent rev­e­la­tion that Robert Mon­tague over­ruled the rec­om­men­da­tions of the coun­try’s in­tel­li­gence and se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties and granted firearm li­cences to per­sons with ad­verse find­ings, while he served as min­is­ter of na­tional se­cu­rity, is un­nerv­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Jack­son, Mon­tague must be sanc­tioned for this reck­less un­der­tak­ing that could have added fuel to the rag­ing fire of mur­ders in which the is­land is en­gulfed.

“Twenty-nine times Mr Mon­tague de­lib­er­ately went against ex­pert ad­vice and pos­si­bly em­pow­ered per­sons with crim­i­nal in­tent,” said Jack­son.

He has called on Na­tional Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Dr Ho­race Chang to im­me­di­ately es­tab­lish an in­de­pen­dent au­dit of these 29 cases and overturn the de­ci­sions, as he did in the re­vo­ca­tion of the used-car pol­icy.


Last Fri­day, Mon­tague re­sponded to a re­port aired by Tele­vi­sion Ja­maica about his over­rul­ing the Firearm Li­cens­ing Author­ity (FLA) and ap­prov­ing a firearms li­cence to a man who the se­cu­rity forces had found not to be fit to get one, with the man be­com­ing a na­tional se­cu­rity as­set.

Mon­tague fur­ther de­clared that he had em­pow­ered a team of six per­sons to hear ap­peals of the FLA de­ci­sions and did not make any call on his own.

But Jack­son said Mon­tague’s ex­pla­na­tion was noth­ing but “hog­wash”.

“Mr Mon­tague knew that based on all the in­tel­li­gence avail­able to him that this man was an al­leged gang leader and lot­tery scam­mer, whose ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected by the Firearm Li­cens­ing Author­ity and the Re­view Panel.

“He also knew that the po­lice had a moun­tain of in­for­ma­tion on this in­di­vid­ual in re­la­tion to a num­ber of in­ves­ti­ga­tions. There­fore, the ex­pla­na­tion that this per­son was a ‘na­tional se­cu­rity as­set’ was sim­ply an in­ven­tion to jus­tify the un­eth­i­cal use of power to grant him and oth­ers firearm li­cences,” charged Jack­son.



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