Gun licenses were granted to 16 security companies between the period August 2, 2020 to September 28, 2021, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn informed the House today, in response to a question submitted by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Geeta Chandan-Edmond.
The disclosure comes weeks after President, Dr Irfaan Ali announced that a period of gun amnesty would be granted to take illegal firearms off the streets. Subsequent to that period, unlicensed firearm holders and those who possess illegal guns will face severe penalties.
The Minister’s response also comes more than a year after he accused his predecessor, Khemraj Ramjattan of arbitrarily issuing licenses to firms and persons while the former regime was operating as a caretaker one. Benn told the nation back in September 2020 that 61% of all licenses issued were done by Ramjattan without involvement of the Firearm Licensing Board.