Scores of gun licenses are about to be revoked in the coming months, in keeping with a decision by the government to weed out those that had been wrongfully issued, no long required or are in the hands of mentally unstable persons, Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan said Sunday.
“It would be a massive, massive exercise so that is the difficulty but for the sake of the security of this nation I, as minister, will not make the massiveness of the exercise an obstacle towards achieving the purpose,” he told Demerara Waves Online News. The Minister said the process has already started.
Ramjattan said Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud and Divisional Commanders are to be involved in conducting the required checks to ascertain whether gun licences should be re-granted at the time of expiration.
Among the recipients of gun licences under then Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj had been late death squad member, Axel Williams
He explained that the review would entail conducting new background checks to ascertain whether gun license holders were eligible in the first place, whether their businesses have gone bankrupt and so they do no longer need guns because they are no longer handling large sums of money and if psychiatric evaluations show that they are depressed. Recently, an elderly gold miner shot his wife in her mouth before committing suicide.
“We might have to do a kind of s continuing assessment so that notwithstanding you have been granted it, that necessarily means that when you come back for renewal you’ll get it again,” Ramjattan said.
There are at least 10,000 licensed firearms in the hands of civilians.
The decision to review and possibly revoke firearm licences has followed a gun amnesty less than one month ago.
Firearm licences are issued after consideration by the Firearm Licensing Board.