Citation(s) from the literature library

Leslie, Glaister. 2010 ‘Firearm Legislation.’ Confronting the Don: The Political Economy of Gang Violence in Jamaica; Occasional Paper No. 26, p. 36. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 3 November

Relevant contents

Firearm Legislation

The Firearms Act, enacted in 1967, regulates all matters pertaining to arms and ammunition (GOJ, 1967).

The Gunpowder and Explosives Act governs the importation and transit of explosives and other dangerous cargo on the island (GOJ, 2005).

Under the Firearms Act, a company or a person of 17 years of age or over is required to have a licence to possess or acquire arms.

The application for such a licence requires information to be submitted on the make, type, calibre, and identification number of the firearm and the purpose of the purchase.

In addition, the applicant must declare that authorities have not refused a previous licence request, revoked an existing one, or convicted the applicant for a related offence within the past five years.

As part of the licensing application process, the authority granting the licence must be assured that the applicant has good reason for acquiring a firearm; can be permitted to possess a firearm without posing a threat to public safety or to the peace; is fit to be entrusted with a firearm; does not have a criminal record and is not mentally ill or disabled.

Once granted, the licence is valid for five years, with a required annual fee paid only after the chief of police of the relevant police division has inspected the firearm.

Violations of the licence carry penalties of up to JMD 500,000 (USD 6,000) in fines or life imprisonment.

Prohibited weapons under the Firearms Act include artillery and automatic firearms, as well as grenade bombs and other missiles.

Sources cited:

GOJ (Government of Jamaica). 1967. Firearms Act. 16 March.

GOJ (Government of Jamaica). 2005. National Report by Jamaica on the Implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.

ID: Q3387

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