Grenada: Higher penalties for visitors who fail to declare firearm

Grenada’s Parliament has given the green light to legislation amending the existing fines and imprisonment for visitors who fail to declare a firearm to a Customs officer. 

Legislators approved an amendment to the 1968 Firearm Act resulting in a fine of EC$50,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents), an increase of 4900 per cent from the previous EC$1,000 fine. 

In addition, anyone convicted of a crime under the legislation could also face the possibility of spending six months in jail, up from three months. 

The amended legislation goes into effect from August 1, this year. 

Leader of Government Business, Phillip Telesford tabled the amendment with Finance Minister Dennis Cornwall calling on travellers and visitors to do the “right thing” because the government is prepared to build more prison space to imprison all those who violate that law. 

“I also want to send a strong message to those non-nationals who also believe that they can come into our borders and trade in illegal firearm that we will not tolerate that, we have seen in recent months a rise in those activities causing the killings of our young men in country and i think it’s time we put a stop to it,” he said. “ I am not saying that increasing the fines and jail time will solve the problem, some may argue that it will increase the population in the jail but I believe Mr Speaker even if we have to build more prison space to deal with those who believe they can get away with anything that they do illegally and make a living out of it we want them to know that this will not be permitted,” said Cornwall, saying that the Dickon Mitchell government is adopting a zero tolerance policy for firearm related offenses. 

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