The Commissioner of Police has been found guilty of delaying a decision on issuing a firearm user’s licence to an attorney who applied for it in 2021.
Justice Betsy Ann Lambert-Peterson ruled Wednesday that there had been an unreasonable delay – two years – by the commissioner.
In June, Lambert-Peterson granted permission to the 37-year-old attorney, who contended she was entitled to a decision on her FUL application made in August 2021.
It was only after the attorney filed her lawsuit in May and the court heard the matter in June and July, that a decision was made and her application rejected.
The judge was told a decision had been communicated to the attorney in September, refusing her application.
However, the attorney’s lead counsel, Michael Rooplal, contended his client was still entitled to relief in her claim for the declaration of unreasonable delay.
Rooplal also objected the commissioner’s attorneys application for time to file an affidavit in response. The application for the extension was rejected and the judge considered the evidence she had before her, in particular, the two-year lapse in making a decision.
In her claim, the attorney said she received a provisional licence which enabled her to get training in the use of a firearm in May 2020. She then applied for the licence in August 2021.
She said she tried several times to get a decision, including contacting and visiting the police’s firearm permit unit several times and having her lawyers send several letters to the commissioner and the Chief State Solicitor’s department, but was unsuccessful.
She said she applied for the FUL for her safety and that of her family.
“The claimant has suffered fear, emotional and mental distress and inconvenience as a result of the first defendant’s failure to make a decision on her application for an FUL, given the escalating rate of crime, particularly against women,” the claim said.
The commissioner was ordered to pay her costs.