Firearms fee increase possible

Issue should be considered, reviewed

An
increase in firearms applications fees is one of several issues being reviewed
by police and other law enforcement officials, according to testimony this week
in Legislative Assembly’s Finance Committee.

East
End MLA Arden McLean questioned whether the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service
was proposing an increase in firearms licensing fees and whether the department
would begin requiring ballistics testing for every legally owned firearm on the
Islands.

Mr.
McLean intimated that an internal memo had been sent out from the police
service brass to this effect, but Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks avoided the
question.

“The
whole matter of licensing firearms to private individuals is under much-needed
review and consideration,” Mr. Ebanks said. “There’ll be a number of
perspectives in that consideration and it could very well be the things like
what the member (referring to Mr. McLean) is suggesting.”

Mr.
Ebanks said there had been some “outreach” to individuals that have a vested
interest in firearms. According to rough estimates, there are between 1,100 and
1,600 legally-owned firearms in Cayman, RCIPS officials have said.

According
to groups that were contacted by police, the department suggested that firearms
licences – new or renewals – increase from $300 to $500. Typically, firearms
permits have to be renewed every three years.

Fee
increases and required ballistics testing would be two of the areas where input
would be sought, Mr. Ebanks said.

Mr.
McLean asked whether government was also considering charging farmers for the
use of shotguns. Officials noted they were also looking at that option. 

“Is
there a process to rid this country of firearms totally?” Mr. McLean asked.
“And I’m not talking about illegal firearms.”

Mr.
Ebanks said he was not aware of any such effort.

“Certainly
not by the Cabinet…and I have no reason to believe that’s the policy of the
commissioner of police,” he said.

Portfolio of Internal
and External Affairs Chief Officer Franz Manderson told the committee that
there were a dozen, and possibly as many as two dozen, firearms renewal
applications that had been approved within the past week.

1 COMMENT

  1. Should I buy bread or should I register my pistol this month.. I wonder if I skip registration if I will be charged with having an unlicenced firearm.
    Bread, fire arm?. Man! the bread will have to wait, because if someone come in here I’ll be serving lead.

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