Minister Kirindongo working on gun policy

PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Justice Edson Kirindongo is presently working on establishing a new gun policy. Since 10-10-10, St. Maarten has been operating on the basis of a previous policy which was there before the new constitutional status went into effect.

Former Minister of Justice Roland Duncan created his own policy in 2011, and wished for it to go in effect on January 2012; however, the policy was met with a wide range of concerns from Parliament, Police and the Prosecutor’s Office as the policy would have allowed for wider gun ownership beyond the law enforcement community, albeit under certain strict conditions.

The minister who took over from Duncan, Dennis Richardson did not agree with the

proposed “liberal” policy and decided to maintain the old policy, he said in an invited comment on Monday.

“The old policy consisted of persons requesting the Lt. Governor for a gun and explained why he or she should have one. Based on the request and the type of person, the gun permit is given or denied,” said Richardson.

Kirindongo was not willing to give details about the new policy, but it will include stricter rules and regulations for the uniformed services that carry weapons. One of the regulations is a safe for officers who take their weapon home.

The Police, however, do not agree with another one of the regulations in the proposed policy. Allowing officers who have not received complete police training to carry home their service weapons is a recipe for disaster, according to a top level police officer.

“As of right now, any person who would like to apply for a gun permit can send a request to the Ministry of Justice, However, the policy needs to be completed first because the basis of approving or denying the permit is the policy that is being worked on,” said the minister.

A work group is finalizing the policy, which will soon make its way to the Council of Ministers, according to Kirindongo. The group is presently also working on the Code of Conduct for political parties in connection with the upcoming elections.

Source: Daily Herald
Minister Kirindongo working on gun policy