Citation(s) from the literature library

Leslie, Glaister. 2010 ‘Illegal Weapons.’ Confronting the Don: The Political Economy of Gang Violence in Jamaica; Occasional Paper No. 26, p. 41. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 3 November

Relevant contents

Illegal Weapons

While robust legislation and measures exist to regulate the flow of legal weapons into Jamaica, and to manage them once they have arrived, officials point out that unlicensed firearms are responsible for most of Jamaica's gun-related crimes.(77)

The majority of weapons seized by security forces are submitted to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing (Jamaica Observer, 2009c).

The National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), established in 2003 to coordinate all intelligence activities of the JCF [Jamaica Constabulary Force], is the authority with responsibility for maintaining international links with overseas law enforcement counterparts to trace the origin of all weapons entering the island, legally or illegally (JIS [Jamaica Information Service], 2003; GOJ [Government of Jamaica], 2008a).

Most seized weapons are traced back to three US counties - Orange, Dade, and Broward - in the state of Florida, all of which have large Jamaican populations (Jamaica Observer, 2009c).

Other countries from which guns enter the country include Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, and Venezuela, though officials believe many of these guns originated in the United States as well (CMC [Caribbean Media Corporation], 2009).

Criminals popularly smuggle weapons such as AK-47s and M16s in from South and Central America.

Intelligence reports suggest that some of these weapons were probably used in armed conflicts that took place in Nicaragua and El Salvador in previous decades (GOJ, 2005).

Sources cited:

77) Author interview with an NIB official, February 2010. It is difficult to verify this, however, because in most cases the JCF does not recover the firearm(s) used in a particular violent crime. Officials believe the vast majority of seized weapons are unlicensed (though at the time of writing, the JCF lacked the data-capturing capacity to quantify this), possibly explaining the deduction. Officials are therefore unable to quantify the contribution of unlicensed firearms to violent crimes.

CMC (Caribbean Media Corporation). 2009. 'Illicit Gun Trade a Worrying Trend in Caribbean'.Jamaica Observer. 6 February.

GOJ (Government of Jamaica). 2008a. Jamaica's Report: Implementation of the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons. Kingston: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.

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.

Jamaica Observer.. 2009a. '"Gangs Must Be Crushed"—Security Minister Announces New Assault on Organised Crime Networks.' 11 May.

JIS (Jamaica Information Service). 2003. 'Broadcast to the Nation by Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips.' 7 December.

ID: Q3396

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