Citation(s) from the literature library

Leslie, Glaister. 2010 ‘Illegal Ammunition.’ Confronting the Don: The Political Economy of Gang Violence in Jamaica; Occasional Paper No. 26, p. 43. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 3 November

Relevant contents

Illegal Ammunition

While there is evidence that guns are being smuggled into the country illegally, there is less such evidence for ammunition.

In fact, some officials agree that ammunition is smuggled into the country less than guns, owing in part to the ease with which those who obtain them legally can pass them on to criminals with little detection or accountability. (86)

According to data collected by the FLA [Firearm Licensing Authority] since its formation in mid-2006, Jamaica imported approximately 2.4 million rounds of ammunition for civilian use between the FLA's formation and early 2010, of which about 1.2 million were 9 mm and 900,000 were 12 GA (see Table 5). [p. 43]

A significant source of this illegal ammunition, and to a lesser extent weapons, is the local police forces, a finding similar to that of other countries around the world.

In February 2010, the country was rocked by the revelation that approximately 11,000 rounds of assorted ammunition, police vests, and 19 guns (M16 rifles, shotguns, Uzi sub-machine guns, pistols, and revolvers) recovered by police from an illegal 'gun shop' in Kingston were all from the JCF's central armoury (Hall, 2010a; Jamaica Gleaner, 2010a).

Table 5: Ammunition imported for civilian purposes, mid-2006 to early 2010 (87)

It is in this armoury that the JCF keeps guns and ammunition purchased for the entire force before distribution, temporarily stores illegal guns and ammunition before destroying them, and repairs defective guns owned by the force.

This ammunition finding, almost twice as much as police have seized annually for many years (see Figure 4) [p. 44], was the most decisive evidence of corruption in a force that the public long accused of selling and renting guns and ammunition to criminals.

[FLA = Firearm Licensing Authority]

Sources cited:

86) Author interview with an official in the MNS Policy Directorate, February 2010.

87) The FLA began operating in 2006 and provided data it had collected from its inception until the time the author requested the data—mid-February 2010.
The FLA does not regulate ammunition imported by the state; therefore, provided data reflects ammunition imported into thecountry by all sources except the state (personal correspondence with the FLA chief executive officer, April 2010).

Hall, Arthur. 2010a. 'Monster Ammo Find in Mountain View.' The Jamaica Gleaner. 5 February.

Jamaica Observer. 2010a. 'Anti-gang Legislation to Take Effect March.' 8 February.Jamaica Gleaner, 2010a

ID: Q3384

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