Griffith tells gov’t to stop the misleading information on legal firearms

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Griffith tells gov’t to stop the misleading information on legal firearms

NTA leader, Gary Griffith, has slammed the PNM government for their continued misleading information on legal firearms.

In Parliament on Monday, Fitzgerald Hinds revealed that 56 legally issued guns were either lost, stolen, or missing.

However, Griffith, in a statement, said: “Quite coincidentally, the focus on firearms being lost was from 2018, not a day before. But as the public would recall, not one firearm issued to civilians between the period 2018-2021, was lost, stolen, missing, or involved in the commission of a crime, as Hinds and others are so fond of implying.”

“The firearms that were lost, stolen or missing were issued before 2018.”

Griffith said the reason for this is that a strict criteria and stringent process was used from 2018-2021, with 14 specific criteria for FUL applicants to meet before acquiring a FUL. “So the public should not be fooled, as the issue is not in the quantity of the firearms issued; it is in the improper process used before 2018.”

This strict process, he said, “ensured that the farmer, small businessman, sports enthusiasts, present and former members of the protective services, and other suitably qualified persons acquired firearms and not just those with the necessary connections, whose lack of proper training increased their chances of mishandling or losing their firearm.”

“Additionally, if the number of 56 legally issued firearms, which pales in comparison to the 10,000 illegal ones reported to be in the country, were broken down, it would show that even fewer were linked to civilians who acquired FULs, but more to do with those in the protective services and at private security firms, rather than personal firearms issued to civilians.”

Griffith said when you also factor in that some of the ‘stolen’ firearms happened when FUL holders were under attack by large groups of heavily armed men during a home invasion as an example, it means that the facts are that civilian misuse and mishandling of legally issued firearms are even more statistically rare, no matter how Hinds and company try to spin it.

“This also makes Erla Christopher-Harewood’s report of 100 legal firearms ‘involved in crimes’ even more ridiculous because she no doubt padded the numbers by including negligent discharges of firearms by personnel in the protective services and at security firms, as well as by FUL holders.”

“She also included those in the protective services and at private security firms who lost their firearms, as well as FUL holders who used their firearms to protect themselves and their loved ones against criminal elements. Despite her efforts however, the facts remain; for example, 99.9% of murders with firearms are committed with illegal firearms.”

Griffith said this incessant war on law-abiding citizens has to stop, and this Keith Rowley-led Government has to come to terms with the reality that having failed to protect law-abiding citizens, the innocent must be given a chance to fight back against criminals.