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Ramjattan to tighten rules on Police Commissioners applying for firearm licences

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan says he will be taking steps to examine whether the regulations were breached or the law needs to be amended to bar Police Commissioners and other senior officers from granting firearm licences to themselves days before their retirement.

“We are giving that serious consideration as we speak. It has been a situational problematique,” he said, adding that he had already thought that the regulations had required firearm applications by a sitting Commissioner to be sent to the Ministry of Public Security.

He said if it is not in the regulation, it would have to be added or if required the law would have to be amended.

Ramjattan’s comment on Monday came against the background of retired Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud applying to and granting himself permits for a firearm licence dealership and one 9MM handgun and one pump action shotgun.

The minister has since instructed Persaud to rescind the self-granting firearm licence dealer permit. Persaud has defended his decisions, saying that dating back to the 1980s a retiring Police Commissioner had also granted himself a dealership permit, and for more than 20 years past Commissioners had self-granted personal firearm licences.

However, in those days there was no Firearm Licensing Authority Board which the law now requires process the applications and recommend whether gun licences should be issued.