Friday 24 May, 2019

CoP tackles 13,000 firearm license applications, warns against bribery

Photo: Police Commissioner Gary Griffith sits with senior police officials during a breakfast meeting in Chaguanas on September 14, 2018.

Photo: Police Commissioner Gary Griffith sits with senior police officials during a breakfast meeting in Chaguanas on September 14, 2018.

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said he will be acting to prioritise approximately 13,000 pending firearm user’s license applications within the coming months. 

Speaking at a breakfast meeting held by the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) on Friday, Griffith said once applicants meet the required criteria as stated by law, then they will be approved. 

“My concept of the Firearm Users License is clear: there’s a law in Trinidad and Tobago, and the law states that persons who have met all the criteria to carry a firearm, they are eligible to do so.”

“What I intend to do is adhere to the law. The law states once you meet the criteria and you are eligible and you have done everything that is required, I will ensure that you get that Firearm Users’ License.”

Griffith also warned persons against paying bribes to have one’s application ‘fast-tracked’.

“Unfortunately we have (approximately) 13,000 applications, I have to prioritise, but the point is…this is what causes the elements of corruption…what’s the going rate now? $50,000?”

 “Let me state right now, do not pay a cent to anyone, you will be wasting your money. Do not pay a cent to anyone in the hope that your file is going to be at the top of the list. What I am doing is based on prioritisation, based on the threat assessment, and I’m trying to (process) it as quickly as possible,” he said.

He added that for those who are rejected, they are entitled to go before the appeals board, which he is also prepared to do.

He added that moving forward, applicants will receive a confirmation of their applications submissions.

“What makes it worse is that citizens send in the application and there is not even the common courtesy of a response. I think that is unprofessional and I am changing that,” he said.

He said he will strive to process and approve these applications within the next few months. 

Under the Firearms Act, applications for a provisional license must be addressed to the Commissioner of Police and be accompanied by a certificate of good character along with other particulars.

Griffith added that those who are granted a Firearm User's License will also be made to ensure that they maintain the proper care of their firearms and that they attend a firing range periodically.

Some businessmen have called for their Firearm User's License applications to be approved after a number of businessmen were attacked or killed in recent months. 

On June 20, 2018, businessman Simon Moss was shot and killed outside his home in St Joseph. The Greater Tunapuna Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GTCIC) called on the TTPS and the National Security Ministry to address the issue

 

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