Minister approves renewal requests for firearms to Dec.

PHILIPSBURG–In an effort to prevent persons walking around with guns for which they have requested a permit, but have not received a response to their request, Justice Minister Rafael Boasman has granted permission for these persons to carry their firearms until December 2017. The Justice Ministry had put all requests for renewal of licences for the possession of firearms on hold last year pending the adoption of a new restrictive weapons policy and the establishment of a Weapons Advisory Committee to advise the Minister on the applications received. The Ministry said in a press statement last night that the new weapons policy had been adopted in November 2016 and was subsequently published in the National Gazette of November 25, 2016. The policy is also available for perusal at the Ministry of Justice Secretariat at A.Th. Illidge Road 8.

  The Weapons Advisory Committee set up by the Minister of Justice, in which the Prosecutor’s Office and the police are represented, has started the process of handling the large number of applications for permission to carry a weapon.

  “The Minister wishes to prevent that persons whose firearms have been registered with the police and who have proof of having submitted a request for renewal of their weapons’ permit, but who while awaiting a decision on their application are still in possession of their firearm due to the delay in decision making, run the risk of being fined and prosecuted for illegal weapon possession,” the statement read.

  “Therefore, the Minister grants these persons, after consulting with and obtaining the consent of the Weapons Advisory Committee, from the date of this notice until the date on which a decision is made on their application, but no later than December 31, 2017, a licence to have that firearm in their possession. This general licence is deemed to have been granted under the same conditions as under which they have been previously granted a licence for the firearm.”

  Anyone who is in possession of a gun or ammunition without being licensed to do so should hand over the gun to the police under the Firearms Ordinance. Also, if a licence-holder dies, his survivors must hand over the firearm as well as the ammunition, to the police, the press statement said.

Source: The Daily Herald