The smuggling of firearms, long considered the lifeblood of marauding criminal gangs, as well as the making of home-made guns and ammunition, is to become a criminal offence under Jamaican law.
The proposed new offences will be included in the revised Firearms Act, which the Government expects to unveil in the first quarter of the upcoming financial year, Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang announced on Tuesday.
Though the trafficking of guns has long been a criminal offence in scores of countries, there is nothing in the current Firearms Act that deals with the trading and manufacturing of firearms and ammunition.
“Those are things that will be brought into the system. The smuggling, the trading, the manufacturing, modifications, and the paraphernalia that go with that,” Chang said during a virtual Gleaner Editors’ Forum.
In the last decade, Jamaica recorded more than 12,000 murders, close to 80 per cent of which involved the use of a gun.