Senior Minister | Former PM Douglas gives full endorsement to new firearms bill

Senior Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas placed his weighty stamp of approval on Thursday’s amendments to the Firearms Amendment Bill 2024 which was originally enacted in 1967. 

The new amendments will see the penalties for offences involving the importation and possession of automatic weapons and the use of firearms in criminal activity increase to a maximum of 40 years imprisonment and an EC$500,000.00 fine. The penalty for the importation and possession of non-automatic weapons will increase from 15 years to 30 years and a maximum fine of EC$250,000.00.

Dr. Douglas said he fully supported the amendments to the Act which was last modified in 1997 during his time in office as prime minister.

Addressing the National Assembly, the Constituency 6 MP said in colloquial parlance that only a “badminded” person would seek to oppose legislation intended to block the import and use of firearms that are not even manufactured in the region. 

He continued that revising the law to meet the challenges of the time was an important move for the new Terrance Drew-led Labour administration.

“This is yet another step to ensuring that we as a government do all that we are expected to do and show leadership in tackling this gun problem – this increasing homicide situation – especially as a result of the use of firearms.

“It is not the only thing that we must do, but at least it must deter those who are engaged in the use of firearms and who are killing people, that they will spend a whole heap of years in prison, and if not careful depending on the age, they will die in prison.

“A deterrent is going to be important as part and parcel of the various different actions that have to be taken in attempting to resolve this particular issue,” said Dr. Douglas. 

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