Custom duties on gun imports have been cut by about 80 percent for members of the Cayman Islands Sport Shooting Association.
The association, better known as the gun club, will also be able to import ammunition and targets duty free. The club, with a shooting range near the airport on Grand Cayman, will be able to import up to four guns a year duty free.
Cabinet signed off on the tariff amendments on Oct. 14, and they were published in the government’s Gazette on Oct. 24. The amendments reduce the duty on gun imports for club members from 102 percent to 22 percent. The cuts bring the tax rate for club members to the same level as for registered farmers.
The 22-percent rate applies to handguns, shotguns, rifles and air guns. The lower rate will also apply to gun parts and accessories for club members.
Gun club President Eddie McLean declined to comment on the new duty changes, but said he knew some changes were in the works.
The club has a number of guns that members can use, or they can bring their own firearms. The club also sells ammunition to members.
The gun club is the only legal place to fire a gun in the Cayman Islands, except for farmers who have special permits to use firearms on farmland to protect crops from animals. The range is only open to members, their guests and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service for target shooting.
The 35-year-old nonprofit club has ranges for handguns, rifles and skeet and trap shooting.
The cuts to import duties do not mean the strict regulations around gun ownership and possession will change. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service maintains tight controls on who is permitted to own a firearm, and only members of the gun club, farmers registered with the Department of Agriculture, or people who can prove that they will hunt on their own land or someone else’s can apply for permission to own a gun.
Previously, anyone except farmers importing a firearm or air gun would have had to pay 102 percent duty. Farmers will still pay a 22 percent duty on ammunition and everyone else will pay 42 percent.