Cabinet will decide on a new process for issuing FULs

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Cabinet will decide on a new process for issuing FULs

Cabinet will decide on a new process for issuing Firearms Users Licenses (FULs) once the necessary audits and reports are completed.

That’s according to Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley.

During a press conference on Thursday, Rowley said there is a need for a new process to authorise the issuance of FULs for citizens.

He said: “The system that we have now, which we have been using was not aiming to arm everybody in the broad sense. It was one that a certain number of firearms were made available every year on an ongoing basis to persons who were very heavily vetted,” he said. “But the demand for firearms grew considerably more as the crime levels became more frequent and the crimes became more violent, so there is an increased demand.”

The Prime Minister said this did not mean that “you swing the pendulum from one side all the way to the other side because more guns on that scale does not automatically mean more security”.

He said having more guns on the streets could negatively impact the country, and gave the example of the United States where there were high numbers of school shootings.

“What we have experienced demands that that be reviewed because it had been abused to the extent where the Firearms Unit in the Police Service had to be literally shut down,” he said.

He said the unit underwent a forensic investigation in an attempt to account for arms and ammunition as well as country’s importation of arms and ammunition.

“That has disrupted the flow of firearm licences going out,” the Prime Minister said.

“The Government will have to take a decision on how much we militarise the society; (and) two, how it should be done,” Rowley said.

“As chairman of the National Security Council, I am not satisfied that we can account for the ammunition that has been bought and brought in Trinidad and Tobago, and for me that is a big problem,” he added.

He stressed that the ultimate goal was to lower the level of crime in the country.

“I don’t know anywhere it is brought down with more guns,” the Prime Minister said.