Firearms Act amended and passed

The content originally appeared on: NBC SVG

The Firearms Act of 1995 was amended and passed in the house of parliament with bipartisan support yesterday.

The Act was amended to increase penalties for firearm offences and includes two new offences.

While debating the bill, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Ralph Gonsalves pointed out that the last amendment to the bill was made on the urging of the appeal court.

The Prime Minister further explained that in respect of penalties for firearms offences, compared to the rest of the region, the penalties in St Vincent and the Grenadines were by far the lowest.

Prime Minister Gonsalves said following this the penalties were increased to about the midway level.

The Prime Minister said that since then, the public has been calling for a greater bundle of penalties for firearms offences.

Two new offences were added to the Firearms Act yesterday when a bill to amend the act was passed in the house of parliament.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves explained that one of the new offences is possession of a ghost gun or a 3-D printed firearm.

The Prime Minister explained that an increasing number of the offence with ghost guns and 3-printed guns have been occurring.

Prime Minster Gonsalves provided an explanation of what a ghost gun is and what the 3-D entails.

The Prime Minister said that there was need for the new offence to meet the new technologies.

The other new offence is deeming a person guilty of trafficking weapons if they are found with two or more firearms in their possession.