Businessman appeals to FLA to return gun permit
A St Ann businessman, whose firearm licence was revoked in February last year, says he is petrified to leave his house on a daily basis, especially as the country continues to be plagued by crime and violence.
The businessman, whose name is being withheld to protect his identity, said he has appealed the decision to revoke his gun permit that he was issued in 2003. However, he said that he has been told the process could last another four years.
"I don't feel safe because I am unable to arm myself properly to safeguard myself, my family and business," the man told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Under the Firearms Act, the Firearms Licensing Authority (FLA), the body that regulates the issue of gun licences, a permit may be revoked for several reasons. These include the holder having intemperate habits or of unsound mind, or has been convicted of drug or firearm-related offences. Additionally, the FLA may revoke a permit if a holder fails to adequately secure a firearm or ammunition at his place of abode or work or on his person, unlawful use of a firearm to threaten violence against another person, or was negligent in the use of the weapon.
The frustrated businessman told THE WEEKEND STAR that he has never been involved in criminal activities and neither has he ever done anything that would cause his permit to be taken away. He is convinced that the decision to take away his weapon came about as a result of him challenging the FLA after his application to possess two other weapons was denied.
The businessman said that in 2014 he applied for permits for a .38 revolver and a shotgun, only to be informed by the FLA in August 2020 that a decision was deferred. In a September 2015 letter under the signature of then CEO Kenroy Wedderburn, the businessman was told to "make your residence secure for the safe-keeping of a firearm by ensuring that the safe is properly installed".
Confused, the businessman said he went to the FLA's offices in St James to seek clarification on the matter. He said that he was puzzled how he could have been denied a permit for a 9mm pistol when he did not apply for one.
Then, in February 2021, the businessman said he received a letter that his 2003 licence was revoked under the grounds that a firearm safe at his home was not in a suitable condition. He said that he was stunned because the inspector who came to his house to check the safe found no issues.
"She shook the safe and said that it was sturdy and firm, and she took pictures of every window and every door," the man said.
He told THE WEEKEND STAR that he has been trying to get the FLA to reinstate his gun licences but the state-run entity has not been responsive.
"This is extremely concerning for me and it has been taking a damaging mental toll on me also. Given what is happening in the country, the FLA ought to be more sensitive. I've tried every possible means to get this thing resolved," the man said.
Shane Dalling, the CEO of the FLA, when contacted for comment, said the matter would have to be addressed by the review board.