Independent Senator, Paul Richards and Opposition senator Jayanti Lutchmedial have both called for psychometric evaluation on prison officers before they are granted firearms.
Last evening, the senate passed the Firearm (Amendment) Bill 2022.
The bill allowed for the Commissioner of Prisons to grant permission to off-duty prisons officers to have a firearm, once that prison officer has shown proof of being under threat.
The director of Strategic Services Agency (SSA) also has the power to grant FULs to officers.
Richards, however, questioned the need for granting Firearm Users Licences (FULs) to every officer under threat.
He said: “Giving someone a firearm even under the circumstance that the person’s life is under threat, should come with an assessment and a suitability of that person to have a firearm because there are other lives in a home that should be considered and protected.”
Lutchmedial said arming prison officers is not the best solution, as both National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and former attorney general Faris Al-Rawi had themselves, previously said it was not a good idea.
She said: “To say that the answer to a problem of gun violence and guns in the hands of criminals is to arm people to allow them to defend themselves, it raises a lot of questions about what the government is doing to get illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. We cannot arm everybody.”