Several hundred charges laid under new Firearm Act Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Hundreds of charges have been laid against scores of persons under the new Firearm Act and the police are eagerly anticipating the outcome of some of the new charges currently before the courts.

Parliament passed the new Firearms (Prohibition, Restriction and Regulation) Act with 17 amendments in September last year and it took effect on November 1, 2022.

Since coming into effect, the police have levied 348 charges against 87 persons. Since January, 100 charges have been laid against 75 persons. I

Illegal firearms feature in 85 per cent of murders and violent crimes committed across the island.

That was revealed by Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson during a press conference earlier this afternoon.

“Criminals who are involved in the illegal firearms trade will continue to be a key area of focus for us from an intelligence investigative and also an operational perspective,” the commissioner pointed out.

Commissioner Anderson noted that the police have been applying new offences such as stockpiling, distribution and trafficking of weapons and ammunition and are awaiting the outcome of the trials of those who were brought before the court.

The legislation speaks to establishing a framework that prohibits firearms and ammunition that are illicitly traded, and which regards possession of those prohibited firearms and ammunition as the foundation on which other heinous and violent crimes are committed.

Its amendments address the strengthening of operational issues such as those made to Clause 101, which speaks to trial, punishment, proof, and records.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Anderson said that Jamaica has strengthened collaboration with local and international partners, which led to 130 illegal guns being seized this year, a 24 per cent increase. “Through this collective effort, in 2022, 796 weapons were seized. The highest gun seizure since 2017,” the commissioner told reporters.