MP Henderson: Firearm Act amendments enhance “administration of justice”

Thursday’s amendments to the Firearms Act received the full backing of MP Marsha Henderson. 

The attorney-at-law said the amendments made will go a long way to ensuring the fair and efficient administration of justice.

The bill  which was tabled by Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew, sought to increase the penalties associated with the importation, transhipment and possession of automatic weapons, non-automatic weapons and ammunition. They also addressed offences involving the use of firearms.  

It also made way for the gun amnesty, which came into effect on Friday, and runs until 25th May, 2024. People in possession of guns or ammunition can surrender their illegal weapons to any police station or attorney anonymously and without penalty.

MP Henderson noted that the enhanced penalties are part of the Labour administration’s comprehensive response to the spike in firearm-related crimes.

“It is clear that we need to be introducing harsher penalties to act as a deterrent for persons who consider committing firearm offences. We also think that harsher penalties provide a sense of justice for victims and families of victims” she stated.

MP Henderson also highlighted while the summary conviction penalties have increased the court will still hold the discretion to determine the penalty during sentencing .

“The increase in the penalty does not take away from the discretion of the sentencer. Ultimately, the sentencer still has the discretion to determine the range of the sentence. So, if there is a conviction starting from the lowest up to what we are proposing – the maximum of 40 years – the sentencer still has to consider all of the other objectives of the sentencing exercise.”

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