“Our approach is to start revoking licences from individuals who we believe are careless. We consider every firearm lost or stolen to contribute to the crime problem. In international circles, a lost or stolen firearm is considered to be a means of diversion.
When a legal firearm is lost, it goes into illicit hands. We consider it very serious that we are putting weapons in the hands of criminals,” Dalling said when he spoke to a reporter.
According to the FLA data, it was reported that 51 firearms were stolen or lost in 2019, which resulted in the revocation of 49 firearm licences and 26 of the licences were revoked in 2018 after 54 weapons were stolen or lost.
Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) statistics showed that most of the stolen weapons are pistols, revolvers and shotguns.
The JCF has also reported that last year 1,877 rounds of ammunition were recorded stolen, which was 466 more than the amount in 2018.
Dalling said that when licensed firearms are missing, it is sometimes due to carelessness. “I’ve seen a report of a person leaving their firearm in a public bathroom (and) we are seeing more and more of those reports. So, the approach is where a person loses one firearm and has others, we may revoke all of them,” he said.
The Firearms Act (2010) states, “it is an offence for any licensed firearm holder to lose his/her weapon through negligence, and such persons could face a fine of $100,000 or imprisonment of up to one year”.