Firearms applications changed

Some gun owners in the Cayman Islands are getting tripped up by red tape when they apply for or seek to renew their firearms licence.

Applications for Firearms Users (Restricted) Licenses will be denied, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, if the incorrect form is used.

The problem is occurring because the most recent application forms contained in the regulations of the Firearms Law are from 1999, and apparently refer to the 1998 version of the law. The Firearms Law has been updated several times since then.

The form the police use is not contained in any version of the law or regulations. It also makes requirements of applicants that are not contained in the Firearms Law (2008 Revision).

‘The RCIPS updated the forms in consultation with the legal department and believe that their use is acceptable and lawful,’ according to a police spokesperson.

The most recent version of the firearms restricted users application requires permit seekers to have ‘two letters from prominent persons in the community’ such as doctors, lawyers, MLAs and the like. No such requirement is contained in the text of the Firearms Law.

A letter from the Agriculture Department is required if the firearm application states the weapon is to be used for hunting. A letter from the Cayman Islands Gun Club is required if the firearm is to be used at the Grand Cayman firing range, according to the police forms.

Acting Police Commissioner James Smith estimated last month that there are 1,600 registered firearms in the Cayman Islands. The police service is conducting a review of those licenses.