PM Holness Calls for Significant Increase in Illegal Firearm Penalties

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has forewarned all Jamaicans ahead of the new Firearms Act that the punishments for possessing an illegal firearm have “increased significantly.” The announcement of the new Firearms Act was made at the National Police College of Jamaica Passing Out Parade and Awards in Twickenham Park, St Catherine, and published in a Press Release.

“Every Jamaican, be aware, be forewarned, the penalties for possession of illegal firearm have been increased significantly,” he said.

The release noted that research has shown that the “greatest enabler of violence aside from social issues is access to illegal firearms.” Holness also shared that the “Government of Jamaica will implement an amnesty for a very short period,” as he warns criminals to surrender their weapons.

Holness further stated that there is no excuse for Jamaicans to have illegal firearms, and poverty is most certainly not an excuse. He added that by making excuses, the citizens are only “empowering criminals.”

Meanwhile, the prime minister is also implementing an electronic station diary, which is said to be a “strategic change to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).” The electronic station diary, “a tool for immediately making connections, tracking, and analyzing crime,” will be at all divisional headquarters by March 2023. So far, this tool has been implemented at three of the nineteen divisional headquarters, including Kingston Eastern, St Andrew Central, and St Andrew South.

See the complete press release below.

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